Peggy Fong ~ Community Ecologist

COSEE West logo
Students studying algae

Revolutionary Solutions

Dr. Peggy Fong believes that during her career, she has witnessed what she calls "a revolution" throughout the country, as scientist participation in public education and outreach has become far more accepted. She believes that there are a number of reasons behind this change - one being scientists realizing that they need to "get out of their lab and out into the public."

"If everyone had experience doing research they might trust scientists more."
In addition, Peggy's research focus on human impacts on coastal marine ecosystems lends itself particularly well to outreach connections. "The incontrovertible fact that we are having huge impacts on the sustainability and maintainability of coastal ecosystems suggests that we need to become very active," she says. "The next generation is hugely environmentally conscious and passionate about making a difference."

Peggy recognizes the urgent need to educate the public about how research gets done. "Everybody who reads a newspaper needs to know a little bit about experiments and environmental statistics," she says. "If everyone had experience doing research they might trust scientists more."

Peggy's outreach efforts have touched many people through several avenues. Here are just a few:

Alfonso Montiel
Alfonso Montiel, Education Coordinator, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium partners with COSEE West to help outreach efforts to the public
Dan Blumstein
Dan Blumstein, Ph.D., Chair, Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, UCLA
UCinLA is an example of how UCLA values education and outreach efforts
Mark Friedman
Mark Friedman, Marine Biology Teacher, Animo Leadership Charter High School
Mark explains why he puts effort into engaging students through programs like COSEE