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Melissa is a Project Manager in the Dept. of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst working primarily on aquatic connectivity, climate change adaptation, and partnership building across academia, government, and the nonprofit sector. Prior to arriving at UMass, she coordinated a capacity building and grant program for environmental nonprofits in New Jersey. Melissa also previously worked in D.C. on natural resource policy at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. House of Representatives as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow. Melissa has a M.S. in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University and B.A. in Biology from Vassar College. Melissa grew up in NY and has studied in Argentina, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. For her graduate research, she studied marine turtle nesting behavior and community use of eggs in Mexico.