Student Board Member: Siarah Hall

Siarah Hall

M.S. Student (Marine Science, University of South Florida - Optical Oceanography Lab); B.S. 2023 (Coastal Environmental Science - Environmental Science and Research, Louisiana State University - College of Coast and Environment)

Biographical Information

My name is Siarah Hall and I am a Master’s Student in the Optical Oceanography Lab at the University of South Florida - Marine Science College. I am highly interested in understanding how energy moves through the environment, and how we can use color to understand and measure this. I will use optical remote sensing techniques to evaluate key characteristics of seagrass meadows in Florida Bay to explore resilience and recovery capacities and elucidate contributions to regional and global carbon cycles. This work is especially important given the high variability and limited understanding of carbon contributions from estuarine environments.

Color, or light energy, along with other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum provides valuable information about the quality and quantity of energy propagating through a system. With rapid advancements in satellite and optical technology, breakthroughs in this field are imminent and will allow us to use the information all around us in new and profound ways. My long-term career goal is to apply the concepts of this research to a wide variety of global ecosystems, contributing to our ability for larger-scale, long-term monitoring and assessment efforts. I believe this is a valuable and crucial step for navigating a rapidly changing climate.

Candidate Statement

Giving back to a community that has impacted me greatly is my motivation for serving as ASLO Student Board Member.  I am driven by a deep passion for marine and aquatic sciences, and with a background of adversity, these cultivate a deep desire to create a more sustainable and conscious world. My goal in this position is to channel my passion and commitment into the ASLO student community to foster a supportive and empowering environment, enabling fellow students to excel.

Coming from humble beginnings, I have faced a plethora of adversity, especially as a young child. I experienced food insecurity and familial instability, exposed to violence, addiction, and incarceration until I was adopted out of foster care. These challenges created immense space for empathy and opened my mind up to exploring the world around me with curiosity and compassion. It fostered a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunities I have received, along with a desire to help others in their journey to overcome life’s challenges. I am thankful for the unique perspective and empathetic understanding that these experiences have imparted to me.

I always find solace in science and nature, and along with the adversity I faced, this lit a fire within me that has propelled me through my academic journey. As an undergraduate, I founded “Students for Environmental Action'' to cultivate a passionate and involved campus community. This brought awareness and action to environmental issues affecting our region, and demonstrates my initiative and commitment to these efforts, now on an even larger scale.

My diverse research experiences offer a holistic approach to complex topics. From my role as the Women in Ocean Science intern at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute and an NSF intern at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science, to my position as a research assistant in a Habitat Research - Seagrass Lab, I feel well equipped to promote discourse and research on critical issues and new ideas.

I am committed to diversity and inclusion as much as scientific advancement. I believe adversity fosters wisdom and ingenuity, compassion and empathy. These are critical values for progression in our community and beyond. Those who have faced adversity are often underrepresented and face the most severe effects of our rapidly changing climate and degrading ecosystems. Part of my mission is to magnify these valuable perspectives, and play my role in creating more diverse, inclusive, and vibrant communities.

My winding journey mirrors the resilience and dedication that the ASLO community embodies. We are expanding the bounds of human knowledge to better understand our changing global environment and finding innovative solutions to the challenges we face – all while amplifying the voices of the underrepresented, more and more each day. This is the community I want to serve. I am committed to learning, growing, and serving my community, and I look forward to the prospect of joining ASLO in this capacity. Thank you very much for your consideration.

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