Master of Coastal and Ocean Policy

Student Projects


As part of the core curriculum, all students graduating from the Master of Coastal and Ocean Policy program must complete a Capstone course and associated project. The Capstone course is a culmination of the learning experience. The project is not the same every year as the assignment generally varies with the instructor leading the course. In all cases though, successfully completing the course requires reflection and integration of the student's knowledge gained over their time in the program. Below is a collection of Capstone projects.  The views expressed in any one project are those of the student author(s) at that point in time of the learning experience.


Class of 2020

Claire Rapp

Marine Protected Areas: Hitting the Target but Forgetting the Goal

Colleen Walsh

The Winds of Change

Class of 2019

Lee Crusius

The Case for Catch Share in New England

Kimberly Rosov

The Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program: Is it facilitating a healthy Albemarle- Pamlico ecosystem?

Class of 2018

Christine Billings

Shark Finning Prohibition Act

Cameron L. Smith

A Contextual Analysis of Off-Road Vehicle Management and the Piping Plover at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC

Nick Krebs

This is Not a Drill: Executive Order 13795, Analysis of the America-First Offishore Energy Strategy

Mackenzie Todd

Small Plastics, Causing Big Problems: An Analysis of the Marine Debris Act

Jatu F. Nugrohorukmi

The Fisheries Debate in North Carolina

Class of 2017

Betsy Baldwin

Estuarine Shoreline Stabilization Under NC CAMA

Jennifer Ryan

Increased Shellfish Closures and Impacted Water Quality under Wilmington's MS4

Kathy Cyr

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and the Red Snapper

Brooks Surgan

Where Have All the Wetlands Gone?... To Mitigation Banks! An analysis of Army Corps compensatory mitigation policy and its effect on ecological and social function

Hailey Grabner

Tourism and Power in the OBX: An assessment of the political ecology of tourism-rich coastal states

Chris Yoda

New Jersey Public Beach Access

Caitlin Lashbrook

American Aquaculture: Pitfalls, values and alternatives

Genevieve Guerry

Swimming Advisories: The problem for Myrtle Beach, SC

Jackie Meyle

Marine Mammal Protection Against Noise Pollution under the Marine Mammal Protection Act


Class of 2016

John Barker
Water Quality and the North Carolina Blue Crab Fishery Connection:A policy analysis on nutrient sensitive water strategies and the agricultural rule
Anna Reh- Gingerich
Total Maximum Daily Loads: A review and critique of water quality legislation
Jonathon Bingham
Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Projects & Federal Benefit-Cost Analysis
Eric Quigley
Preparing for America's Next War, The War for Fish: Increasing US EEZ enforcement to enhance sovereignty and economic security
Alexandra Goldstein
Realizing the Benefits of Collaborative Watershed Management: Recommendations for the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership
Shelby White
Socioeconomics of Commercial Fishermen in Albemarle Sound, North Carolina
Feletia Lee
The Language of Leachate: How words shape water management in New Hanover County

Hayley Wise
The National Flood Insurance Program: a driver for unsustainable coastal development

Class of 2015 (the first!)

A large group project by: Bailey Stearns, Miles Murphy, Sara Marriott, Evan Gruetter, Johanna Colburn, Jessica Gray, Lindsey Cole, and Michelle Shreve
Led by Dr. Mark Imperial

Offshore Wind Energy Development in North Carolina: Is it worth it? (report)
Offshore Wind Energy Development in North Carolina: Is it worth it? (presentation)

Other  Projects

As opportunities present themselves, students are involved in internships and projects in and out of class that result in tangible reports and presentations. As these become available they will be posted here!

MCOP 592: Science, Policy and Politics