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Fulbright Alumni in the Environment

Fulbright alumni are addressing environmental challenges through their work at the local, national, and international levels. By contributing to environmental policy, advancing research and conservation, and sharing environmental science with non-scientists and local communities, Fulbright alumni are empowering citizen scientists and inspiring others to safeguard the environment and create a more sustainable future.

Introductory remarks provided by:

Andrea Dutton

Dr. Andrea Dutton (2020 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to New Zealand) is a renowned sea level and climate change expert, geology professor, and the recipient of back-to-back Fulbright U.S. Scholar and MacArthur Foundation Fellowship awards. Her research has taken her to the Seychelles, the Bahamas, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, and most recently to New Zealand through the Fulbright Program where she conducted research at Victoria University of Wellington’s Antarctic Research Centre, analyzing models and geologic records of Antarctic ice sheets for paleoclimatology research. This research helped to better understand the contribution of ice sheets to sea-level change and predict future changes caused by global warming. Committed to spreading the word about sea level and climate change via NPR, TEDx Talks, Fulbright lectures, and articles in Rolling Stone, Dutton’s mission is to ensure that her research moves far beyond the lab. She speaks passionately about combating glacial ice melt and sea level rise, while acknowledging the immediacy of the crisis. Dutton continues this work as a professor of geology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she nurtures students and builds new relationships with colleagues in the Department of Geoscience. After graduating from  Amherst College, she taught science at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights, New York, and then pursued master’s and doctoral degrees in geological sciences at the University of Michigan. 

Read Andrea Dutton’s profile.

Featured Alumni

Gillian Bowser (2014 Fulbright U.S. Specialist to Peru) is an ecology research scientist and faculty member in the Natural Resource Lab at Colorado State University who has dedicated her career to empowering citizen scientists to protect, manage, and preserve parks impacted by climate change. During her Fulbright at National Agrarian University – La Molina she focused on communicating the impact of glacial retreat in Huascarán National Park’s mountain wetlands to faculty and students.  

Read our profile.

GuðmundurIngi Guðbrandsson (2005 Fulbright Student from Iceland) is Iceland’s Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, where he is leading a comprehensive plan to reduce the country’s emissions, aiming for carbon neutrality in 2040, and pursuing policies of global collaboration to address the complexities of climate change. He earned his master’s in environmental management at Yale University during his Fulbright. 

Read our profile.

Nicole Kanayurak (2018 Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar) is an Inupiaq from Utqiaġvik, Alaska, the northernmost point in the United States, who works at the municipal level to prioritize indigenous and traditional practices and community involvement in wildlife management. As a Scholar in the Fulbright Arctic Initiative, she carried out comparative research in Iceland on communications infrastructure, food security and sustainable economies.

Abby McBride (2017 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow to New Zealand) advocates for the conservation of marine life by using the arts to engage the public and inspire individuals to be part of the solution, calling herself a “sketch biologist.” On her Fulbright in New Zealand, she used National Geographic’s digital platforms to share images and experiences on social media and blogged about New Zealand’s efforts as a world leader in seabird conservation.  

Kevin McLean (2016 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow to Malaysia and Ecuador) is an ecologist who uses digital media to communicate complex research concepts and engage the public in the journey and wonder of science, as the Associate Director of Research Talks and Outreach at iBiology. On his Fulbright, he split his time between Malaysian Borneo and the Ecuadorian Amazon, studying canopy wildlife and producing digital media for National Geographic Voices to introduce a digital and local audience to canopy ecology and conservation.   

Elena Perez (2017 Fulbright U.S. Student to Ecuador) is the Ocean Action Agenda lead at the World Economic Forum. As a Fulbrighter, she worked with the residents of the Galápagos Islands to develop effective outreach and education to reduce the use of disposable plastics that contribute to marine plastic pollution, recognizing the vital role that the local community plays in conservation.