Past Events

2022 Events

Virtual Career Trek (Feb 25, 2022)

The live webinar included guest speakers from the Marine Conservation Insitute and The Pew Charitable Trusts, who have extensive experience advancing ocean conservation in Washington, D.C.  This event helped students learn about the critical work these professionals do and about career opportunities at their influential organizations.

2021 Events

Spring Symposium 2021 – Water Stories, presented by OPWG, DWN, and SAWS (Mar. 5 and Mar. 12, 2021)

The  Spring Symposium highlighted water stories and the power of narratives in responding to challenges like COVID-19 and climate adaptation. The plenary (held from 1:00-2:30) will bring together journalists, governments, NGOs, and community leaders who are addressing and elevating water-centric issues in the face of increased environmental and climate risk.

Virtual Career Trek (Mar. 19, 2021)

The Virtual Career Trek featured Tricia Hooper (NOAA, MEM), Charlotte Hudson (Pew Lenfest Oceans, MEM), and John Bohorquez (PhD Researcher at Stony Brook University), with speed networking sessions in Zoom breakout rooms.

Lunch Seminar with Ocean Conservancy: Fighting for Trash Free Seas (Mar. 26, 2021).

Ocean Policy Month will close out with a special lunch seminar with Ocean Conservancy experts and Duke alums Nick Mallos (MEM’10) and our very own Jackie McGarry (MEM’18, OPWG Symposium Coordinator, 2016-2017). Learn about their policy work on the Trash Free Seas campaign and Global Ghost Gear Initiative, as well as career guidance for professional students. View recording of seminar here.

2020 Events





Virtual Lunch Seminar with Dr. Ross Cunning, Coral Research Biologist, Shedd Aquarium (Nov. 13, 2020)

OPWG welcomed Dr. Ross Cunning for a virtual lunchtime chat (due to COVID-19 restrictions) to hear about his research on coral bleaching and conservation. 

Virtual Lunch with Doug Rader, Chief Oceans Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund (Mar. 26, 2020)

NSOE Community Members and OPWG Members met Doug Rader on Zoom (due to COVID-19) and learned about building climate-ready fisheries governance and management.

Symposium 2020 – The Value of Water, A Symposium Presented by DWN, OPWG, SAWS (Feb. 28, 2020)

The 2020 Symposium was an exploration of risks and impacts on the built and aquatic environment, and how innovative financing solutions can help secure clean and plentiful water. Presentations and discussions with working professionals were held in the Grainger Hall Field Auditorium.

Breakfast Chat with MEM-CEM ’19 Alumnae (Feb. 20, 2020)

MEM-CEM ’19 alumna Willa Brooks and Alexandra Boden spoke to their journeys to the Nicholas School, experiences while at the Nicholas School, and current employment in the Basurto Coasts and Commons Co-Laboratory, and UNC Sustainability Project, respectively.

2019 Events





Breakfast Chat with Brianna Elliott

On October 29, 2019, Brianna Elliott, current PhD student in Marine Science and Conservation & CEM-MEM ’17, spoke primarily to first-year MEM students about navigating the MEM program plus her experiences working in ocean policy. Elliott was a NOAA John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow from 2018-2019.

Social Hour with Andrew Lewin

NSOE Community Members and OPWG Members met Andrew Lewin, founder of the “Speak Up for Blue” podcast series on October 16, 2019.

Symposium 2019 – Rising Waters: Planning for Resilient Coasts and Watersheds

The 2019 Symposium focused on an interdisciplinary look at the impacts of sea level rise and increasing hurricane strength in the Carolinas. Presentations and discussions with working professionals were held on March 22nd, 2019 in the Grainger Hall Field Auditorium.

Earth Day 2019

OPWG took part in the Nicholas School’s Earth Day activities on April 19th, 2019 in the LSRC courtyard.

Washington D.C. Coastal Conversations

On February 15th, 2019, OPWG members had the opportunity to network with a panel of ocean professionals from a variety of organizations including OceanaEarthjustice and NRDC. Topics such as coastal management, protected species advocacy, seabed mining governance and geospatial intelligence lead to engaging conversations about the current and future states of the marine environment.

2018 Events


Lunchtime Seminar with John Virdin

The Ocean Policy Working Group hosted a lunchtime seminar with John Virdin, PhD on February 8th from 12pm-1pm in LSRC A158. As the Director of the Coastal and Ocean Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, his topics included involvement and research at the Nicholas Institute, as well as his most recent coral reef project.

Coffee Chat with Professor Stephen Roady

On 11/06/18, OPWG held an informal coffee chat with Duke Law professor and internationally respected environmental lawyer, Steve Roady. Professor Roady discussed his experiences in the world of ocean advocacy & policy and offered his view about some of the professional roles that Nicholas school graduates could occupy in the field.

Coffee Chat with Dr. Transform Aqorau

On 11/16/18, OPWG welcomed Pacific Fisheries Expert Dr. Transform Aqorau from the Solomon Islands to speak about his various roles in Pacific Tuna fisheries, including his time as the Chief Executive Officer of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement. 

2017 Events


2016 Events



2015 Events


2014 Events

OPWG flyer Daniel Whittle  SarahHoytSeminar2  CoffeeWithPat

2013 Events
Seminar - Luke Slivinski Call For Submissions 10.2013 Seminar - Nicola Clark & Jeff Ardon