Hannah MacDonald

, NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Michigan State University, EarthEcho International, Spartan Sierra Club

Growing up in the Midwest, Hannah MacDonald did not let her distance from the ocean prevent her voice from being heard in marine conservation issues. In fact, she used her connection to the Great Lakes to link her to the ocean, as she worked to teach the next generation to embrace the Great Lakes and ocean literacy principles through stewardship. In 2013, she worked alongside staff at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary to establish a plastic pollution awareness group, Plastics F.L.O.A.T. (For the Love Of Alpena Today). Hannah is currently a senior at Michigan State University majoring in Earth Science and minoring in Marine Ecosystem Management and Environmental Studies and Sustainability. While at university, she assisted in founding the largest environmental organization at Michigan State University, the Spartan Sierra Club, where she engages her campus with environmental activism through service projects, campaigns and education and outreach.

Hannah is also an active member of EarthEcho International Youth Leadership Council which is an international group of students that work together to engage and mobilize their peers and communities to change the world through developing programs, performing outreach projects, and educating on pressing environmental issues. Programs she has worked on through the council include, #3T4E (Three Pieces of Trash for the Earth), Choose to Cruise, and World Water Monitoring Challenge.

Hannah’s enthusiasm for marine conservation opened the door for her to take her work to the national level. Along with Phillipe Cousteau, she has co-authored an op-ed article for the Huffington Post on marine protected areas and she has appeared at the Fast Company Innovation Festival to represent Team Ocean on the Ocean vs. Space panel. In 2015, she represented the youth of America and women in stewardship at the Capitol Hill Ocean Week on the Wave of the Future: What Do the Youth of America Think and Commanders at Sea: Women Leading the Way in Ocean Stewardship.

Most recently, in the summer of 2017, Hannah combined her passions for the ocean and inspiring the next generation by developing and implementing summer programs focused on ocean stewardship, marine science, and marine technology for students ages 5-15 at Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary in Port Angeles, Washington. Hannah hopes to continue to inspire the world to act to save the ocean through combining her interests in marine policy and marine education for her career.