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Laurel Abowd

Bio
Laurel Abowd, a first-year master’s student, graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia (2016) with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Bachelorof Arts in Leadership and Public Policy. After graduating, Laurel worked as an environmental management staffer for the Chesapeake Bay Program, a unique partnership of federal, state, local, and nonprofit organizations committed to restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed. During her time at the Chesapeake Bay Program, Laurel strengthened her skills in adaptive management, coordinated the inaugural Finance and Investment Forum, and learned healthy ways to cook invasive blue catfish. Laurel’s professional experiences, including internships at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Piedmont Environmental Council, helped her appreciate how organizations of all sizes must collaborate to effectively address environmental problems. At the Bren School, Laurel plans to specialize in energy and climate and strengthen her background in environmental economics. Her undergraduate thesis explored various ecosystem services, fostering an interest in how pragmatic climate actions can result in positive outcomes for community members and ecosystems. Laurel will continue to explore her interests in forestry as a Forest Sustainability Fellow at the Bren School. After graduation, Laurel intends to leverage her analytical and leadership skills to research and implement equitable solutions to climate change at a research organization, a nonprofit organization, or a government agency.