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Volume 4, Number 1
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New Sea Grant Specialist

 Vicky Carrasco streached out on some rocks

Vicky Carrasco brings a sense of small town to her new position as coastal communities specialist for Sea Grant Extension. Carrasco joined the ranks of Maryland Sea Grant in early February from her home state of Texas, where she was born and raised in the small Spanish-speaking border town of Presidio.

"Although coastal and desert communities have different issues to confront, people share a sense of place and the desire to protect something," Carrasco says.

Carrasco holds a Master's degree in urban planning and a Bachelor's of Science in renewable natural resources from Texas A&M University in College Station. Her thesis work focused on sprawl reduction policies in Florida and she has worked extensively in both urban and rural communities in Texas. She has related experience in watershed education, ecosystem management research and comprehensive urban planning.

Her bilingual upbringing proved invaluable in one of her many field-based internship projects. As a Center for Housing and Urban Development Fellow, she worked to develop an address system to assist 911 dispatchers in locating patients in small towns (known as Colonias) in Presidio County. These rural communities, within 150 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border, often lack adequate infrastructure and other basic services.

Carrasco is excited to bring her varied experiences to help shape Maryland Sea Grant's up-and-coming Coastal Communities initiative. "The position offers the opportunity to combine environmental issues and urban planning. And, it's not just the issues," she says, "it's working with people."

Chesapeake Perspectives

Maryland Sea Grant is producing a new series of monographs called Chesapeake Perspectives. In these papers scholars from the broad academic community will address issues of particular importance to the Chesapeake Bay. Topics will focus on the biological, chemical and physical sciences, but also the social sciences and other disciplines. The monographs are available from Maryland Sea Grant, both printed and on the web. The inaugural issue, scheduled for release in April, is authored by Michael Paolisso, who draws on anthropology to examine how we define "environmentalism" in the Bay region, and how we may have drawn lines that leave some groups largely excluded. To order a copy, call 301-405-6376 or visit the web at www.mdsg.umd.edu/CB/.

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