Carey Schafer’s research focuses on how mangroves store and cycle carbon.

She wants to connect people to coastal science

Carey Schafer’s graduate research finds her waist deep in Florida waters, covered in mud and battling mosquitoes.

But you won’t find her only in the field or the laboratory. She’s also out in the community connecting people to science.

Schafer, 25, studies geological oceanography in the master’s program at the USF College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg. She was born in the suburbs of Kansas City, far from the ocean, but grew up loving science and wanting to be a marine biologist.

“As a kid, I was really curious, always asking questions, and when I had a good science teacher that was the best thing,” Schafer said.

Once she got to college, she gravitated more toward earth science and earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Tulane University in New Orleans. There, she conducted research on how rivers are impacted by wildfires and had an internship with NASA, studying air quality.

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