Paloma Henriques, a University of Maine graduate student studying marine policy, has received a 2021 Switzer Foundation Fellowship. Courtesy of University of Maine

Paloma Henriques, a marine policy master’s student at the University of Maine has been awarded a 2021 Switzer Fellowship by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. 

Henriques, a marine policy master’s student in the School of Marine Sciences, is advised by Joshua Stoll. Her research is focused on creating alternatives to sustainability certifications that serve the needs and capacities of small-scale fishing communities while incentivizing continual progress toward sustainability goals. Her research is conducted in partnership with the Local Catch Network, a North American community-of-practice of small-scale fishermen, organizers, researchers and consumers in recognition that viable, beneficial policies must be rooted in the affected communities. 

“I’m very excited to be a part of the Switzer Network because so many inspiring people are part of this network. I hope to be able to continue learning from and collaborating with them for many years,” says Henriques, a former environmental activist with Greenpeace.

Her experience with Greenpeace and her extensive personal travels, including sailing through Europe, West Africa and South America, have enhanced Henriques’ understanding of the roots of environmental crises and how they intertwine with issues of equity and justice.

The Switzer Foundation awarded 20 $15,000 fellowships this year to emerging environmental leaders who are pursuing graduate degrees and are dedicated to positive environmental change. The cash award supports the graduate education and professional development of fellows attending college in New England and California. 

During the fellowship year, the Switzer Fellows receive training in personal leadership skills focused on advancing social equity. They will complete an intensive policy training that culminates in fellows developing relationships and sharing their expertise with decision makers in Washington, D.C.

The nearly 700 Switzer Fellows from previous cohorts form a vibrant community of scientists on the leading edge of environmental and social change through their work in environmental science, policy, justice, public health, economics, journalism, urban planning, business, law and more. 

Read the announcement of the 2021 Switzer Fellows and find more information about the Switzer Foundation, which is based in Belfast, at