Candidate for Student Board Member: Kelly Luis

Kelly Luis

Ph.D. expected 2021 (Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts-Boston, USA)
B.A. 2015 (Environmental Science, Columbia University, USA)


Biographical Information

Kelly LuisProfessional History:
Kelly Luis is a PhD Candidate in the Marine Science and Technology program and an Associate Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. After graduating with a B.A. in Environmental Science from Columbia University, she was a research assistant at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Kelly was awarded a National Science Foundation – Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship and Ford Foundation – Predoctoral Dissertation Fellowship to complete her dissertation research in coastal and inland remote sensing for water quality monitoring.

Research Interests:
The development, validation, and application of ocean color remote sensing tools for understanding dynamic aquatic ecosystem change, especially in optically complex environments such as urban waterways, coral reef ecosystems, and Arctic lakes. Kelly’s dissertation focuses on developing water clarity monitoring tools to bolster water quality monitoring efforts across coastal and inland aquatic environments. She also has field experience validating ocean color instruments on spaceborne and airborne platforms.

Community Engagement
Kelly is the lead Girls Who Code instructor at the Grove Hall Branch of the Boston Public Library where she has taught and developed computer science curriculum for girls of color and for children with learning disabilities. At ASLO-sponsored meetings, she volunteered with the Storytellers Program and has served as K-12 mentor. During NASA HyspIRI field campaigns to the island of Maui, she coordinated a scientist shadowing program for Native Hawaiian students, presented on remote sensing and coral reef science in local high school classrooms, and developed community outreach materials with the Department of Aquatic Resources.

Candidate Statement

I am deeply humbled to be a candidate for the ASLO student board member position and if selected for this position, I will work to ensure every ASLO student feels welcomed, represented, and celebrated. As a first generation, Native Hawaiian woman, the continued growth and support of diversity, inclusion, education, and outreach initiatives is of utmost importance to me. Thus, in my first year on the ASLO board, I plan to carry out the following initiatives:

1) Assessment of ASLO’s Diversity, Inclusion, Education, and Outreach Initiatives: I will propose and lead the development of a report on ASLO’s diversity, inclusion, education, and outreach initiatives because it will provide an opportunity to reflect on and build upon existing initiatives. Most importantly, an assessment is a step towards ensuring historically overlooked and underserved communities are recognized and supported by ASLO.

2) Quarterly Student Newsletter: I will pilot a student-centered newsletter with spotlights on an ASLO student and a science communication initiative led by an ASLO student. The rich diversity of students’ backgrounds and research interests will be celebrated with a student spotlight, and a science communication spotlight will recognize the hard work students invest in their education and outreach endeavors. With numerous ASLO students around the world, a quarterly student newsletter creates a deeper sense of community amongst students.

Over the course of my term on the ASLO board, I will strive to carry out the following initiatives:

• Community College Engagement at ASLO-sponsored meetings: I will investigate how we can leverage and optimize ASLO’s scientific, networking, and educational resources to support community college students near ASLO-sponsored meetings.

• Publication Support for ASLO Students: I will explore the potential of ASLO publications creating a space and additional resources for ASLO students striving to publish their research. Ideas include a special issue for student led research projects, reduced article processing fees for first-author student papers, and scientific writing webinars tailored for students.

From ASLO’s multicultural program to ASLO’s Limnology and Oceanography Research Exchange program, I have greatly benefitted from members in this society advocating for and creating pathways for underrepresented students like me. Thus, as your ASLO student board member, I am deeply committed to advocating for the needs and concerns of all students and I will tirelessly work to build pathways and opportunities that welcome, recognize, and celebrate ASLO students.

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