Sara E. Cannon, M.Sc.


University of British Columbia 2017 – current
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Geography

  • Geography Undergraduate Committee Representative (2017/18 Academic Year)
  • Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Equity and Inclusion Committee Graduate Representative (2018/19, 2019/20 Academic Years)
  • Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Student Society Co-President (2019/20 Academic Year)

University of British Columbia 2015 – 2017
Master of Science (M. Sc.), Geography

  • Geography Graduation Association Co-Chair (2016/17 Academic Year)

University of California Santa Cruz 2012 – 2014
Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Marine Biology, with Honors

  • Member of the Golden Key International Honour Society
  • STARS COMET Mentor

Cabrillo College 2010 – 2012

  • Member of Alpha Gamma Sigma – Gamma Phi chapter

Academic Honours and Awards

Graduate Awards:

  • 2021-2022 P.E.O. Scholar
  • 2018-2021 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar
  • 2019-2021 SESYNC Graduate Pursuit Fellowship
  • 2016-2022 Ocean Leaders Graduate Fellow
  • 2020 International Coral Reef Society Travel Award
  • 2017 Simons Foundation Doctoral Scholar
  • 2015 TerreWEB Scholar

Undergraduate Awards:

  • 2015 Women Divers Hall of Fame Undergraduate Scholarship in Marine Conservation ($1,000.00)
  • 2014 Explorers Club Legacy Award, $1,500.00
  • 2013 Friends of Long Marine Lab Student Research and Educational Award, $250.00
  • 2012 & 2013 Explorers Club Youth Activity Award, $3,500.00

Relevant Coursework

University of California Santa Cruz
B.S. Coursework

  • Bioethics for the 21st Century (PHIL80G)
  • Biological Oceanography (OCEA130)
  • Biology of Marine Mammals (BIOE129)
  • Ichthyology (BIOE127)
  • Intro to Science Writing (BIOE188)
  • Marine Conservation Biology (BIOE165)
  • Marine Ecology (BIOE108)
  • Quantitative Ecology (BIOE148)
  • Reef, Mangrove, and Seagrass Ecology (BIOE163)
  • Statistical Methods in Biology, Environment, and Health Research (AMS7)

University of British Columbia
M.Sc. Coursework

  • Advanced Biometrics (FRST533)
  • Contemporary Research Trends in Physical Geography (GEOB500)
  • Topics in Conservation (CONS503c)
  • Topics in Hydrology and Geomorphology (GEOB503a)

University of British Columbia
Ph.D. Coursework

  • America and the Climate Crisis (GPP591C)
  • Grand Challenges in Ocean Leadership (FISH507)
  • Qualitative Methods in Interdisciplinary Contexts (RES505)
  • Quantitative Methods in Ecology and Evolution (BIOL501)

Teaching and Supervisory Experience

The University of British Columbia, Vancouver Campus, 1984 West Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2.
Climate Expert – Climate Teaching Connector: September 2020 – May 2021.
I deliver guest lectures for courses taught at the University of British Columbia about climate change and climate justice, as requested by instructors through UBC Sustainability’s Climate Teaching Connector. Specifically, I lecture as a climate expert for the following topics: climate science; climate justice; climate law, planning, and policy; climate and people; and, climate adaptation and resilience.

Research Assistant: May 2017 – May 2019.
I supervised an undergraduate project assistant working with ArcGIS and ArcMap in the Climate and Coastal Ecosystems Laboratory, which includes overseeing time management and training. I also was responsible for conducting interviews for the position. Previously, I trained and supervised two undergraduate project assistants in using Coral Point Count with Excel Extension software to process quadrat photos from benthic surveys and identify coral and algae to the genus level. I also analyzed data from field research and did the statistical analysis of the data using R Statistical Software, ArcGIS, and ArcMap.

Sea Smart School, Vancouver, BC Canada.
Staff Educator: September 2018 – June 2019.
I led two Ocean Explorer After School programs per week, with the goal to get youth excited about our oceans and empowering them to be environmental champions. I teach essential life skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership in order to further SeaSmart’s mission, to help youth understand the role they play in making the world a better place.

Ulithi Marine Management Program/One People One Reef, Ulithi Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia.
Field Assistant and Student Supervisor: April 2012 – April 2016.
I created educational materials, trained community members on monitoring techniques, and wrote a monitoring handbook for the community science teams. In 2015, I led a diverse team of high school and college students from Ulithi and California, teaching them scientific research methods in the field in Ulithi with the ultimate goal to create a resource management plan for youth leadership.

Cabrillo College 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003.
Teaching Assistant: February 2011 – December 2011.
I worked to support professors of Oceanography by grading quizzes and papers, setting up equipment for labs, assisting students with the completion of lab assignments, and organizing and conducting study sessions for midterms and final exams.

Research Experience

Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands
Coastal & Fisheries Division Intern: July – August 2016.
I assisted with data management from benthic scuba surveys, including data entry and analysis using CPCe and R. I also created educational materials about coral reef ecology, human threats to coral reefs, and basic benthic monitoring techniques that communities could employ to inform future decisions about resource management. Finally, I participated in community meetings at Ebon Atoll, to facilitate the creation of a management plan in accordance with the Reimaanlok Process. While there, I worked directly with community members to design and implement community-managed ecological monitoring.

Ulithi Marine Management Program/One People One Reef, Ulithi Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia
Field Assistant: April 2012 – April 2016.
I worked with a diverse team of scientists who advised local communities on methods for the creation of a marine resource management plan for the Ulithi Atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia. This includes assisting with budgeting, website and social media support, meeting with the communities in Micronesia, and with data collection in the field.

UC Santa Cruz/California Sea Grant, Long Marine Lab, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Junior Specialist: January 2015 – December 2015.
As a part of a collaborative fisheries research project on the commercial fishery for California halibut, I collected, reviewed, and coded relevant information from diverse sources, synthesized qualitative and quantitative data, assisted in the collaborative data collection and analysis with fishing community members and agency personnel, and drafted text to contribute to the project report and other related products. Additionally, I assist with the planning and conduct of group meetings to review project results, and provide general support to the P.I.

California Sea Grant Extension Program, UC San Diego, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0212, La Jolla, CA 92093-0232
Social Science Research Intern: January 2014 – January 2015.
I used NVivo 10 and Endnote X7 to conduct in-depth literature reviews to construct a descriptive profile of the social, cultural, and economic elements of the commercial fishery for California halibut as a part of a collaborative fisheries research project. I also assisted with the analysis and development of graphical representations of data on fishery activity.

Coastal Conservation Action Lab at UCSC, Ocean Health Building, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Threatened Island Biodiversity Database Intern: June 2012 – November 2013.
I used Google Earth to identify and gather data on invasive species that occupy breeding islands for Endangered and Critically Endangered species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. I also conducted research on anthropogenic threats to seabirds on breeding islands. These data were used to identify and prioritize conservation problems. This allowed the development of cost-effective solutions (with the help of NGOs and partner agencies). Additionally, I processed intertidal data in the form of photoquadrats by estimating percent cover of algae and counting invertebrates. 

Science Communication Experience

FISHBIO, 1617 S. Yosemite Ave, Oakdale, CA 95361
Science Communication Internship: November 2014 – June 2015.
I pitched and wrote articles for the FISHBIO and Mekong Fish Network blogs and newsletters. I also assisted with the management of FISHBIO’s social networking sites and news alerts.

Save Our Shores 345 Lake Ave Suite A, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Program and Educational Outreach Intern: June – December 2011.
I led a minimum of 2 monthly events (including beach clean-ups and festivals), as well as a minimum of 4 educational presentations, and assisted with the development and creation of public presentations and outreach events. I also supported preparation for large annual events, including data entry and office support when needed. Finally, I contributed to promotional materials and blog posts while collaborating with the Media and Outreach Coordinator.