Laura Lea Rubino
Laura Lea grew up in Nashville,TN, but spent summers exploring Maine's beautiful coastline and falling in love with the ocean. Given her interest in human perceptions and interactions with the environment and natural resources, Laura Lea studied both human development and environmental studies at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. One year after graduating, Laura Lea moved to Santa Barbara to pursue a master's degree at UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. At the Bren School, Laura Lea studied environmental economics and policy, as well as environmental communication. For her master's thesis research, she assessed the feasibility of using a diverse portfolio of funding sources to support a long-term, incentivized vessel speed reduction program in the Santa Barbara Channel--a management strategy that is known to concurrently reduce ship-generated air pollution emissions and the number of endangered whales fatally struck by fast-moving cargo vessels. As a master's student, Laura Lea worked in the Bren School Media Office and interned at The Nature Conservancy in Seattle, WA. As the Projects and Operations Coordinator, she is responsible for leading SFG's communications strategy, providing project management support to research teams, and strengthening SFG's partnerships with foundations, government groups, NGO's, and other academic institutions.