Sophie Maginnes, a rising senior studying both environmental science and biology with a concentration in marine science and conservation at Duke University, is a recent recipient of the NOAA Hollings Scholarship. Maginnes discovered her passion for coral restoration during her time at Duke, during which she had the opportunity to take classes and conduct research at Duke University Marine Lab. Having this experience, she is incredibly excited that the Hollings Scholarship has provided her the opportunity to work with NOAA this summer on coral restoration efforts in St. Thomas, USVI.
Maginnes will be working half of the time with NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program in partnership with Florida Sea Grant to support efforts of the U.S Coral Reef Task Force Coral Disease Working Group. As part of her scholarship, she will facilitate the creation of a tracking mechanism of existing legislation and policy regarding coral disease as well as help to identify funding opportunities for stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) response and prevention.
When she is not supporting the Working Group, she will be working with Coral World Ocean and Reef Initiative (CWORI), a non-profit in St. Thomas dedicated to conserving marine habitats and wildlife through rescue, rehabilitation, restoration, and research, with a goal to empower others through public education. With CWORI, Maginnes will gain experience in hands-on restoration methods, rearing corals in a nursery and helping with out-planting efforts.