Meet Gabriella Gurney, CMJ master’s student and NRT trainee researching conservation science.

Gabriella (Ella) Gurney is a second-year MA student in CMJ with a conservation science concentration. Ella is interested in climate journalism, community resilience, and science writing. She is part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research Traineeship (NRT) Program in Conservation Science and Practice at the University of Maine.

Her study focuses on a proposed fish farm in Frenchman Bay, Maine, and the community’s response to this proposal. She hopes to gain a better understanding of community acceptance or resistance to change, as well as what the future of “sustainable” environmental projects may look like.

Communication scholars are vital in researching the future of sustainable environmental projects. Their research and analysis can assist in identifying and comprehending the various factors that influence project success, such as public perception, stakeholder engagement, and effective messaging strategies. This information can then be used to inform and guide the development and implementation of long-term environmental initiatives, ensuring that they are well-received and effective in addressing pressing environmental issues. Furthermore, communication scholars can help to raise awareness and educate the public about sustainable environmental initiatives, which can lead to increased public support and participation.

Frenchman Bay, Maine

Ella expressed her desire to find a space where she could pursue science writing while also appreciating and creating value for the communities she would work with. When asked what drew her to the CMJ department. “The students, professors, and staff at CMJ are the best part of the experience,” she said, “and that’s important to me for my graduate school experience.”

In her spare time, Ella enjoys cross-country skiing, thrifting, and playing Dungeons & Dragons. She is also practicing her crocheting skills.

All photos were provided by the interviewee.