Carrie Kappel is an Associate Project Scientist and Center Associate at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and a member of the Center for Marine Assessment and Planning at UC Santa Barbara. A marine conservation biologist and community ecologist by training, she has worked in coral reefs, kelp forests and rocky intertidal systems and now uses collaborative synthesis science to develop conservation solutions that protect marine ecosystems and enhance human wellbeing.
Major themes of her work include quantifying the ways humans depend upon and impact marine species and ecosystems; understanding the spatial distribution of ecological and human components of ecosystems in order to inform conservation and management; and developing ways to integrate biophysical and socioeconomic data to support environmental decision-making in coastal ecosystems. Her collaborative projects have developed tools to assess the cumulative impacts of human activities on marine ecosystems and quantify the tradeoffs associated with management decisions that affect multiple ecosystem services. Her research has been aimed at informing marine protected area design, ecosystem based management, and marine spatial planning. Carrie currently leads a large, multi-institution collaboration called the Ocean Tipping Points project, which is aimed at integrating our growing understanding of tipping points in marine ecosystems into ocean management through practical tools and approaches.
Carrie serves on the Science Advisory Council for SNAPP: Science for Nature and People Partnership and provides facilitation services to SNAPP working groups, drawing upon her long history participating in and leading NCEAS working groups and other interdisciplinary, collaborative team science projects. She is passionate about helping diverse groups come together to solve challenging problems.
Carrie received her B.S. from Brown University and her Ph.D. from Stanford University and spent five years in between working as an environmental educator for the Teton Science Schools, Ogden Nature Center, and as an independent consultant. She continues to contribute to environmental education as a Board Member of Ecology Project International, a nonprofit whose mission is to improve and inspire science education and conservation efforts worldwide through field-based student-scientist partnerships.