Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Karen Cortes '14


Karen Cortes '14 is a Marine Biology concentrator interested in marine conservation science and policy. She is working with Professor Heather Leslie (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology/Environmental Studies) to apply the Ocean Health Index to Narragansett Bay. The Ocean Health Index framework provides an integrative measure of ocean health, based on a range of benefits provided to people by coastal and marine ecosystems, including food provision, carbon storage, coastal protection, and clean waters. Karen’s particular interest is in clean water and how changes in water quality influence the provision of a wide array of benefits provided to people by estuarine environments like Narragansett Bay. By downscaling the ocean health framework to the Bay, Karen hopes to contribute knowledge relevant to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, The Nature Conservancy and other governmental and non-governmental institutions engaged in marine management and conservation.