Sarah Smith

Spatial Policy Specialist

Areas of expertise: Marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, fishing communities, cooperative management


As part of the Spatial and Ecosystem Initiatives Team, my work addresses the spatial and ecosystem components of fisheries management necessary for healthy fisheries and a healthy ecosystem. This includes promoting policy and providing science on topics such as marine protected areas, climate change, and ecosystem based management to support EDF's regional work, primarily focused on New England.


My PhD research was focused on analyzing stakeholder participation in cooperative management of marine protected areas in the Caribbean. Prior to coming to EDF, I conducted research and outreach for the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center related to marine spatial planning, offshore renewable energy, and sustainable seafood, and profiled fishing communities in the Northeast for NOAA.


  • Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI - Marine Affairs
  • Dissertation: An Analysis of Marine Reserve Co–Management within the Caribbean: Factors Influencing Stakeholder Participation
  • M.A., Tufts University, Medford, MA - Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
  • B.A., Hamilton College, Clinton, NY — French (Magna Cum Laude)


Smith, S.L. 2012. Toward inclusive co-management: Factors influencing stakeholder participation. Coastal Management, 40(3): 327-337.

Shumchenia, E., Smith, S., McCann, J., Carnevale, M., Fugate, G., Kenney, R., King, J., Paton, P., Schwartz, M., Spaulding, M., Winiarski, K., 2012. An adaptive framework for selecting environmental monitoring protocols to support ocean renewable energy development, in: Azzellino, A., Conley, D., Vicinanza, D., Kofoed, J. (Eds.), Marine renewable energies: Perspectives and implications for marine ecosystems, Scientific World Journal 2012, Article ID 450685, doi:10.1100/2012/450685.

Smith, S.; Pollnac, R.; Colburn, L.; Olson, J. 2011. Classification of coastal communities reporting commercial fish landings in the U.S. Northeast region: Developing and testing a methodology. Marine Fisheries Review, 73(2): 41-61.

Dalton, T.; Pollnac, R.; Forrester, G.; Smith, S. 2010. Governance factors affecting the ecological performance of marine reserves in the wider Caribbean. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Volume 62.

  • Sarah Smith

    Sarah Smith


Boston office

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Media Contact

Matthew Smelser
(202) 572-3272 (office)
(512) 731-3023 (cell)
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