Erick Dowell

MA, Marine and Environmental Affairs, Nuu-chah-nulth
headshot of Erick Dowell


I grew up in North Carolina spending my time in between my parents’ home near Raleigh and my grandparents’ home near the coast in Jacksonville, NC. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology along with minors in Spanish, Chemistry, and Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013. During my undergraduate career and directly after I participated in various research projects. I completed two projects focusing on deep-sea microbial communities that inhabit hydrothermal ecosystems. I also completed a project researching the impacts of downstream dam passage on various west coast fish species. During and after my work in academia, I worked as an outdoor educator to young students both in NC and in Washington state. I am passionate about sharing my love of science and the natural world with others. I continued to pursue that passion by working as a naturalist aboard wildlife watching vessels and as crew aboard the teaching sailing vessels Carlyn and Lady Washington. I eventually earned my captain’s license. After years as a captain working in the maritime industry, I moved to Seattle to enroll in the University of Washington’s graduate program at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. At UW, I am completing a thesis that will review opportunities for macroalgae species other than kelp to be grown in aquaculture settings in the Pacific Northwest. I am excited to be a part of the FLAS Nuu-chah-nulth scholars because I love learning languages. In addition to earning a minor in Spanish during my undergraduate career, I am also teaching myself one of my family’s native languages –  Chahta Anumpa. I am especially thrilled to learn Nuu-chah-nulth since the Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples have a long relationship of caring for the native seaweeds of the west coast and I am eager to learn from their millennia of science, knowledge, and respect for these macroalgae.