Marine biology hopes to foster connection between the commercial fishing industry and policy makers


For Samantha Alaimo ’21, her lifelong passion for marine biology has taken her from a small lake in Pennsylvania to a cutting-edge laboratory for marine science education, an opportunity made possible by the devoted benefactors of the University. of New Haven.

October 25, 2019

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Samantha Alaimo ’21 took a two-week course at Shoals Marine Laboratory in Maine over the summer.

Over the summer, Samantha Alaimo ’21, a major in marine biology, participated in a mock negotiation on the placement of an oyster farm. She has also studied marine life in the field, working on boats and in a floating aquaculture facility. She even sorted the day’s trawl catch and measured the lobsters.

Image by Samantha Alaimo '21
Samantha Alaimo ’21

Alaimo’s experiences were part of a two-week “Sustainable Fishing” course at Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island in Maine. She was awarded the University’s 2019 Summer Fellowship for Marine Programs, which is supported by University benefactors Phil Bartels ’11 Hon., Charger Challenge Centennial Campaign Co-Chair and Former Chairman of the Board of governors, and Susan Bartels.

“I am grateful to the University of New Haven and the Bartels family for this incredible opportunity to explore the field of marine biology,” said Alaimo. “I love marine biology because I can combine my hobbies with my love for discovery.”

Alaimo’s passion for learning about marine life began, she says, when she was little when she first went fishing in a small lake in Pennsylvania. Fascinated by the aquatic creatures she discovered, she later became interested in saltwater fishing, discovering other habitats and creatures that piqued her interest.

“I love marine biology because I can combine my hobbies with my love for discovery.”Samantha Alaimo ’21

Vice President of the University’s Marine Conservation Society, Alaimo connects with her classmates at the organization’s campus-wide Marine Week events in April, sharing her love of marine life.

Image by Adam Caress, MBA
Samantha Alaimo ’21

“’Stuff-a-Sea-Critter’ is our biggest event, and last year we had around 600 students in attendance,” she said. “Bringing the campus community together and seeing the joy on the faces of the students made me proud to be a Charger.”

A minor in mathematics, Alaimo is a teaching assistant in calculus and is conducting research on matrices with Yasanthi Kottegoda, Ph.D., which she says has taken her outside the box.

Alaimo’s goal is to create a sensation in the commercial fishing industry. Her experiences – from fishing to her hands-on learning at University – have allowed her to develop an in-depth understanding of the industry and the impact it aspires to have.

“In the commercial fishing industry, there is a disconnect between the decision makers and the fishermen themselves,” Alaimo said. “In the future, I hope to break this disconnect by integrating highly skilled fishermen into policy making. As an active fisherman, I want to work with other fishermen and policy makers so that their two voices can be heard. . “

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