Zinnia Jazmin Dagostino

Real name: 
Zinnia Jazmin Dagostino
Class Year: 
2021
Current Position: 
RAY Conservation/Blue Carbon Fellow
Current Organization: 
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Location: 
Portland, OR

Jazmin grew up near the Gulf of México in the small town of Pánuco, Veracruz. From a young age, she was driven by curiosity and loved learning from those around her. At the age of ten, Jazmin returned to the US to resume primary school, where she courageously navigated learning English and became fond of nature documentaries that transported her to the wild places she once hoped to see for herself. She began her college career at Edmonds community college in Washington State and majored in biology, intending to one day attend medical school. However, a year into her course work, she realized that her true passion was intimately linked to the ocean she grew up around. So, with support from her partner and family, she set off on a journey to study Marine Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 

In Hawaiʻi, she found a sense of place and community, which encouraged her to get involved in research, citizen science, and outreach. As an undergraduate, Jazmin coordinated and was an active participant at OPIHI (Our Project In Hawaii's Intertidal), which promoted stewardship through the intersection of science, community, and cultural knowledge. As part of her research, she delved deeper into the implications of climate change and how it impacts marine ecosystems and coastal communities by assessing how algal assemblages (the basis of the marine food web) have shifted over the past 50 years along an urbanized area of the Waikīkī shoreline. During her time at university, she volunteered at the Waikīkī Aquarium, where she engaged visitors and communicated the importance of native biodiversity.

Throughout her college career, she traveled, reared bob-tailed squid, and met amazing friends (both land & ocean-dwelling) along with mentors who to this day inspire her and continue to play a significant role in her growth. Over the coming years, Jazmin envisions herself taking bold steps in the fields of ocean conservation and environmental justice and hopes to learn how to use policy and advocacy to achieve those goals efficiently.

In her free time, you will find Jazmin hiking, scuba diving, cooking, and taking care of her plant babies.