15th of August 2016 -Erin Spencer, Ocean Conservancy, National Geographic

Erin SpencerErin Spencer is a science communicator and National Geographic Explorer who uses photography and writing to share stories of community-based invasive species management around the world. A two-time National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee, Erin’s work primarily focuses on innovative responses to invasive lionfish in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean.

In 2014, Erin launched the Invasive Species Initiative, a website that uses digital storytelling to share grassroots approaches to invasive species management. The project aims to educate followers about the impacts of invasive species and provide them with tangible tools they can use to combat invasives in their own communities. Since the project’s launch, a number of organizations have used and/or funded her work, including NBC Universal, The New York Times, National Geographic, and CBS Sunday Morning. Her travels have taken her from Florida to Fiji, including a cross-country train trip with the Millennial Trains Project looking at invasive species management throughout the American south.

Erin graduated with honors from the College of William and Mary in 2014 with a major in Applied Ecology and a minor in Marine Science. She is currently based in Washington, D.C. and is a Digital Outreach Coordinator for the Ocean Conservancy. Erin tries to spend the majority of her “free time” writing and speaking about invasives, mentoring young women in STEM, and daydreaming about her next project. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram @etspencer, or on www.invasivespeciesinitiative.com.

Have a cool story about invasive species management? Contact the Invasive Species Initiative at etspencer14@gmail.com!

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