Peggy Fong ~ Community Ecologist

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Sampling algae
Dr. Peggy Fong has a long history of doing outreach. She always found rewarding work to do - whether supporting teachers and keeping them excited about science by giving workshops or visiting local schools. (She still routinely gives talks to K-12 students, either in their schools or in her lab if they are visiting campus.) Then she got involved with COSEE West, and evolved from "just showing up and giving lectures" to becoming a Co-PI of the project. While she may have originally thought she wanted to focus solely on research, she discovered that getting students excited about research and helping them generate their own ideas is rewarding, and that teacher education and support is really important. "Keeping them passionate trickles down to kids," she says.

"You have to learn what you want to spend your time on and then focus there."
With mentoring by Dr. Bill Hamner, one of the original PIs on COSEE West, Peggy has worked with high school teachers to develop marine science curriculum, museum and aquarium directors and exhibit designers to bring cutting edge research to the public, and fellow scientists to provide online workshops on current research topics. She has a long term goal of giving every undergrad the experience of conducting scientific research, such as through the Marine Biology Quarter, and is committed to enhancing diversity.

Because of the nature of her research in the coastal estuaries and lagoons of California, Peggy has a comprehensive and thorough understanding of the threatened status of these important ecosystems. Through her collaboration with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), her research helps to inform local, regional, and national resource managers on the best way to protect, conserve, and ultimately restore these habitats.

Peggy's Collaborations