Camille David '14, of Vieille Case, Dominica, earned his PhD in Marine Sciences/Coastal Systems Science at SMAST, UMass Dartmouth's School for Marine Science and Technology. The title of his dissertation was "Linkage between sea level rise, tidal inlet dynamics and wetland response."
How did you get interested in studying the effects of sea level rise?
I grew up on an island, in close proximity to the coast and ocean influence, and I developed a keen interest in coastal/marine science from my early days in high school. This interest was heightened with an understanding of sea level rise and its destabilizing effects on coastal processes and ecology as well as on the built environment, and on the need to develop strategies to mitigate effects.
What has been your experience working with faculty on your research?
It has been a tremendous experience. Faculty provided the guidance and support which enabled me to develop my ideas and research process. Working on my research has enabled me to grow and develop the confidence to tackle real-world challenges with a skill set built from both practical experience and theory. There was tremendous opportunity to present my work at the seminar level and at conferences.
What are your future plans?
I hope to continue building on the skills I've acquired at SMAST, seeking either post-doctoral opportunities or employment opportunities where I can use my knowledge to solve real-world problems.
What makes SMAST special?
I think it is a great institution with wonderful people. You build a network of friends here in quick time. I also think there is good camaraderie between faculty and students, which enhances learning.
Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank the past and current deans of SMAST, the faculty in general and Assistant Dean Mike Marino, who was always helpful and proactive on issues affecting student welfare. The administrative staff has also been very helpful and supportive: special mention must be made of Gail Lyonnais, Sue Silva, Cindy Costa and Elizabeth Winiarz.
Most importantly, I thank my advisor Brian Howes and lab colleagues Dale Goeringer-Toner, David Schlezinger, David White, Roland Samimy, Mike Bartlett, Sara Horvet, Jen Bensen, Dahlia Medeiros, and Kaitlyn Shaw.