Events & Media

LAFF Fellows Head to Laz Paz for Workshop
Students and alumni gather for workshops, networking, mentoring — and even some fun

At the end of 2015, 25 current fellows and alumni in the Bren School’s Latin American Fisheries Fellowship (LAFF) program convened for the third annual LAFF workshop. The four-day event was held on the campus of El Mangle in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, and was focused on building and strengthening the LAFF network and identifying ways to accelerate the collective impact of LAFF students and alumni.

Guest experts in Latin American fisheries management and network-building were also on hand, including Nakul Saran, vice president of the NGO Rare; Laura Rodriguez, Director of Oceans for the Environmental Defense Fund, Mexico; Hoyt Peckam, founder of Smartfish; James Honey, Executive Director of El Mangle; and Madeliene Taylor, a principal at the Impact Network.

They presented on capacity and leadership needs in Latin American fisheries, the value of the network approach to addressing challenges in fisheries management, and various aspects of network design.
The event also allowed Bren School alumni to share about their work in the field, and new fellows had a chance to introduce themselves as emerging professionals. Activities scheduled throughout the retreat promoted relationship-building, cross-pollination of ideas, and support across the network. Some things, like diving with whale sharks, as captured by current LAFF student Juan Mayorga (MESM 2016), served to underscore, in an outsized way, a part of what sustainable fisheries work is all about.

During their stay, LAFF students were able to spend free time diving in the ocean with whale sharks that winter in La Paz.

The LAFF program is a prestigious fellowship opportunity for emerging marine environmental professionals to earn a world-class, interdisciplinary, and solution-oriented graduate degree in Coastal Marine Resources Management from the Bren School. It trains innovative environmental leaders to solve environmental challenges and achieve healthy ecosystems, abundant fisheries, and thriving coastal communities throughout Latin America.