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Jonathan C

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Duke University


Marine science, conservation biology, environmental law, environmental policy


I am a Ph.D. student in Marine Science and Conservation at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and a recent graduate of Duke Law School (and hopefully an attorney, pending passage of the North Carolina Bar Exam). I am a member of Duke's Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, under the direction of Dr. Patrick Halpin. My main area of focus concerns marine ecology, migratory species, and environmental law. My undergraduate thesis was written with Dr. David Wilcove at Princeton University and explore tropical forest restoration ecology. When I am not doing environmental work, I enjoy reading, playing video games (mostly Star Wars-related), biking, and rock climbing.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Lessons from Domestic Environmental Impact Statements for International Conservation

Currently, the UN is in negotiations concerning a new treaty to manage the biodiversity found in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (i.e. the high seas, where pirates [used to] roam). As part of this, they will be discussing environmental impact statements, a process that is used extensively here in the U.S. as part of the National Environmental Policy Act. This potential project would compare the lessons learned from the NEPA process and consider them in the international context.

Coding skills


Languages I know

Spanish, Korean (limited proficiency)

Teaching experience

I tutored a middle school and high school student in algebra for a few months.


Work experience

Environmental Defense Fund (2015 - 2017)
Health Fellow
Sierra Club (2019 - 2019)
Legal Intern
Natural Resources Defense Council (2020 - 2020)
Legal Intern
Southern Environmental Law Center (2020 - 2020)
Legal Extern


Princeton University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2015)
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Duke University
JD Juris Doctorate
Duke University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Marine Science & Conservation

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