Stacy Tighe (right) and Kelly Kryc (MS 1998) in Aswan,
Egypt, a major commerce center of the Nile River in southern Egypt. The
Aswan Dam is one of the largest technical assistance projects in the world.
Stacey A. Tighe, USAID Consultant
Red Sea Marine Park, Egypt
|Stacey Tighe earned a BA (1977), an MS (1980), an
MMA (1992), and a PhD (1997). Stacey takes advantage of her travels
to dive all over the world including Alaska, Asia, the Caribbean,
the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
An early choice brought
me to the Graduate School of Oceanography. I attended a summer school
for high school students in oceanography, taught almost exclusively
by GSO graduate students. Although a confirmed marine biologist-to-be
and a newly certified Scuba diver, I chose to muck about in sulfur-scented
peat, defining the geological history of a salt marsh in the Pettaquamscutt
River using diatoms, which earned me a citation in a GSO geological
dissertation and a 1973 Westinghouse Science Talent Search award.
This early entry into multidisciplinary work might have created an
identity crisis in some, but I soon learned that I thrived in the
During the next 25 years, I worked as
a scientist and a manager on marine biological and geophysical surveys
in various oceans, earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College in Earth Sciences,
an M.S. in Biology (coral reef ecology) from Fairleigh Dickinson University,
a Masters of Marine Affairs from URI and a Ph.D. in Geological Oceanography
from GSO. I spent one year on a fellowship in the recreational and
scientific diving community, working with resorts, underwater film
makers, and diving trainers. I cherish the professional network I
discovered then, and it is invaluable to me in my present position.
This experience was followed a decade later by a diplomacy fellowship
with the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington,
D.C., which gave me exposure to the marine resource issues in the
developing world. I chose to leave scientific research to my more
academically gifted colleagues and to work primarily in the government
and private sectors on marine resource management issues in threatened
coastal and marine areas. This led to the work I do now in Egypt as
the Red Sea Marine Park Advisor.
I am a consultant to the U.S. Agency
for International Development (USAID) which supports the coral reef
and coastal conservation efforts of the Egyptian Ministry of Environment's
Nature Conservation Department. The program is helping Egypt expand
its definition, declaration, and management of marine protected areas.
The Red Sea encompasses one of the world's largest and most precious
coral reef systems and includes premiere scuba diving, rare populations
of dugongs (sea cows), tame dolphins, nesting turtles, and mangroves.
I work on-site at the new Red Sea Marine Park headquarters in Hurghada
with up to a dozen rangers, designing and implementing their training
and technical assistance activities, and advising various governmental
and non-governmental counterparts on policies for the new protectorates.
My day might include going on patrol with the rangers, overseeing
the installation of a mooring, writing a press release, running a
workshop, discussing user fees with the Red Sea Governor (all of these
with an Egyptian counterpart), or, at home during the evening, writing
policy recommendations or field reports. I even find time for an occasional
scuba dive. Some describe my assignment as a "dream job,"
one of those careers you want as a preteen when, as an idealist, you
start making choices for your future. I would have to agree.