Areas of Expertise
Research | Community Outreach | Data Collection and Management Strategies | Cartography | Project Management | Writing | Media and Documentary Production | Grassroots Networks | Resource Mobilization
Coastal and Maritime Community Development | Sustainable Fisheries | Environmental Conservation |
Human – Wildlife Relationships | Environmental History | Caribbean Development | Urban Geography | Environmental Justice | Gender and Environment
Masters in Development Practices: Emory University, Atlanta, GA 2016
Concentration Certified: Sustainable Livelihoods and Environments
Advisor: Department Chair, David Nugent GPA 3.9/4.0
Research Areas: Marine Debris in Belize, Sustainable Fisheries in the USVI.
Bachelor of Arts Geography: Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 2014
Advisor: Dr. Leslie Edwards, and Dr. Timothy Hawthorne. Mentor: Dr. Kate Derickson GPA: 3.9/4.0
Major: Geography Minor: Film and Video
Gamma Theta Upsilon Honors Society
Georgia State University Honors College
American Geophysical Union
Publications and Presentations
“A Participatory Study of Marine Debris, and Plastic Pollution in Belize; mapping abundance and social context in a Caribbean Nation”. In draft submitting October 2017. Bennett-Martin, Paulita, Eric Main, Timothy .L. Hawthorne.
"Mapping marine debris across coastal communities in Belize: developing a baseline for understanding the distribution of litter on beaches using Geographic Information Systems". Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 188:557 (2016). Bennett-Martin, Paulita, Christy C. Visaggi, Timothy .L. Hawthorne
"Emory MDP student raises awareness about Plastic Pollution". December 2015. Emory University Online.
"Emory MDP students work on largest urban redevelopment project in the nation". November 2015. Emory University Online.
“Mapping non-native invasive species and accessibility in an urban forest: A case study of participatory mapping and citizen science in Atlanta, Georgia”. Applied Geography 56 (2015) 187-198. Hawthorne, T.L., Elmore, T., Strong, A., Bennett-Martin, P., Finnie, J., Parkman, J., Harris, T., Singh, J. Edwards, L., Reed, J.
The Plastic GYRE Symposium: Artists, Scientists, and Activists Respond: March 2015 Talk Presentation, Belize and Marine Debris: working with nonprofits and community activists
Kent State: Applied Geography Conference October 2014 Talk Presentation, Mapping Marine Debris through Coastal Communities in Belize
Georgia State University: GSURC May 2014 Poster Presentation, Mapping Marine Debris through Coastal Communities in Belize
University of Belize: Natural Resource Management Symposium: March 2014 Talk Presentation: Socioeconomic Development Speaker
Georgia State University: February 2013 Talk Presentation: Honors Thesis Defense
Harvard: Annual Center for Geographic Analysis: May 2013 Poster Presenter: Mapping non-native invasive species and accessibility in an urban forest
Georgia State University: GSURC March 2013 Poster Presenter: Mapping non-native invasive species and accessibility in an urban forest
Georgia State University: Georgia Campus Sustainability Network Conference September 2012 Poster Presenter: Mapping non-native invasive species and accessibility in an urban forest
Awards |Honors |Fellowships |Grants
- 2016 American Geophysical Travel Grant
- 2016 Emory University Graduate Travel Grant
- FY 2015 and 2016 Emory University Graduate Merit Grant
- 2014/2015 Atlanta BeltLine Inc, Academic Year Fellow
- 2014 Association of American Geographers Travel Grant
- 2014 GSU Department of Geosciences Geographer of the Year
- 2014 Gamma Theta Upsilon Travel Grant
- 2013 Women in Philanthropy Scholarship
- 2013 Honors College Research Grant
- 2012 National Science Foundation REU Fellowship and Travel Grant
- 2011 – 2013 President’s List Recognitions
- 2010 – 2014 Dean’s List Recognitions
- 2010 Spring Student of the Semester for Math and Computer Technology
Science & Policy Interface, Biodiversity & Law, Economic Geography, Environmental Conservation, Digital Cartography, Quantitative Spatial Analysis, Georgia Natural Environments Field Work, Thesis Field Work, Thesis Writing, Senior Seminar - Smart Growth, Research Methods I & II, Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities, Development Economics, Natural Resource Management, Gender and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation I & II, Qualitative Analysis, Urban Geography, GIS, Climate Change, Weather and Climate, Landforms, Development in the South
Research and Professional Experience
One Hundred Miles, Savannah GA, July 2016 - Current Chief of Coastal Advocacy
As the Chief of Coastal Advocacy my role is to be the main public point of contact for a coastal advocacy organization. Seven advocacy programs are managed under my direction, which include Right Whale Conservation, Working Waterfronts Ambassadors, Plastic Pollution Reduction, Jasper Ocean Terminal, Sea Level Rise and Community, along with responding to individual threats to our coast on a case by case basis, such as the Heavy Industrial developments along our coastal bodies of water. This role relies heavily on my ability to build social networks, and convene multi-stakeholder meetings to achieve common goals, and sustain collaborations. On a day to day basis I work between scientists, government, businesses, grass-tops, and grassroots communities. As the first staffer in the Savannah area, I worked remotely to secure the ideal location for a North Coast office, remained motivated and positive in an isolated work environment, and within one year, I on-boarded two new full time staff members, as well as recruited 11 new local program specific volunteer advocates.
Emory NOAA, Atlanta and USVI, 2016 - 2017 Graduate Fisheries Research and Outreach Associate
Managed a team of four researchers working in the USVI between 2016 and 2017. Responsibilities included the outreach and build out of a strong local fisheries network including collaborative relationships with local government, agency, commercial fishermen, food industry, TV and radio which would allow for in depth interviews, extensive participatory observation with commercial fishers and agency, community support and visibility in local media. Other tasks included the design and management of a data base, protocols for all outreach, scheduling and regular reporting to the PI.
Emory University Atlanta, 2014 – 2016, Teaching Assistant and Communications
Working for Emory University include two distinct roles, Instructor and Communications. As the teaching assistant to the Chair of the Department of Global Health, my responsibilities included facilitation of 20 students a semester, engaged in applied planning team projects, which address global development challenges. The course, a hands on ‘in practice’ seminar, required preparing discussions, presentations, and attending team meetings to coordinate strengths and personalities in a dynamic graduate level course. In the role of Communications, responsibilities include development of stories for department website, outreach, interviews, and representation of the department at key events.
Oceana Belize, Belize, Central America 2015 Summer Researcher
Fieldwork included grassroots campaign activities, community outreach, and marine debris research. Responsibilities included GIS data collection through three communities, coordination of citizen science activities, management of community engagement events and awareness branding development.
GSU Department of Geosciences 2013 – 2014 Team lead on Atlanta Botanical Garden Research and The Conservation Fund Research
Collaborated in a large team environment to map conservation efforts in 13 city and state parks as well as Atlanta urban parks. Responsibilities included organizing teams and leading fieldwork for a freshmen honors college course, database design, map design. General communications between several stakeholders and participation in a series of workshops was conducted through the Fall of 2013 and Spring of 2014. In addition operational tasks included scheduling, community liaison to partnering organizations, and work reports.
Thesis Field Research Belize, Central America, 2013 - 2014 Summer Researcher
Proposed and completed an honors thesis “Mapping Marine Debris through Coastal Communities in Belize: Plastics, Pollution, and People”. All fieldwork was independently conducted throughout Belize in the summer of 2013 to collect over 1000 meters of data and over six hours of recorded discussions with locals. Other responsibilities included: proposal of thesis, database design, extensive cartographic designs, extensive literature review and completion of an honors thesis.
Association of American Geographers, My Community Our Earth Initiative, Atlanta, 2012 – 2013: Campaign Ambassador
Collaborated in a small team setting to develop geography education and outreach presentations for high school and introductory college level youth. Other responsibilities included coordinating community mapping projects, data collection, community outreach, map design, and literature review focused on participatory, open source maps, and community geography, as well as drafting all final grant reports.
National Science Foundation, Research Experience for Undergraduates, Atlanta, 2012 Research Associate
Collaborated in a small team setting to complete extensive fieldwork based on developing practical GIS methods for conservation of green space. Other expertise attained: practical identification of ecological systems and plant species, organization and leadership of community meetings, design and development of geographic education and outreach materials, as well as literature review and scholarly writing.
ArcGIS, Microsoft Word, Final Cut Pro, PowerPoint, Excel, Photoshop, MaxQDA, and SPSS