Kate Ortenzi

PH.D. Candidate

Current Research:

I am a PhD candidate in Marine Biology working under Dr. Anna Metaxas and Dr. Jörn Schmidt, the current Chair of the Science Committee of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.  I am working on Ocean Frontier Institute’s Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures project to identify how climate change is impacting communities and the marine environment off the coast of Nunatsiavut, Labrador and Torngat Mountains National Park.  My work will draw upon dual systems of Western science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge to help fill critical knowledge gaps in the structure and function of benthic habitats in the region, identify shifts of these habitat-forming species, and how these changes may affect culturally and economically important species such as Arctic Char. 


Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
Department of Marine Biology
PhD Candidate
September 2021 – Present

University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland, USA
Master of Public Policy
August 2010 — December 2013

University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland, USA
Master of Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development
August 2010 — December 2013

Organization for Tropical Studies
Montes de Oca, Costa Rica
Tropical Ecology, Science Communication
January 2014, November 2020

State University of New York at Geneseo
Geneseo, New York, USA
Bachelor of Arts in English, Spanish
September 2003 — December 2006

Scholarships and Awards

Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (2021)

U.S. State Department Meritorious Honor Award for Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (2021)

U.S. State Department Meritorious Honor Award for Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking  (2021)

U.S. State Department Meritorious Honor Award for Religious Freedom Forum (2021)

U.S. State Department Superior Honor Award for Climate Change Reporting (2019)

State Department Extra Mile Award for TDY as Mission India’s Energy Chief (2017)

University of Maryland’s Jacob K. Goldhaber Award (2013)

University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship Seed Fund Award (2012)

AmeriCorps’ Wilmer Hale Civic Innovation Award (2009)

AmeriCorps’ Clinton Innovation Award (2008)

Wegman’s Scholar (2003-2006)


  • Warner, K., Lowell, B., Disla, C., Ortenzi, K., Savitz, J., and Hirshfield, M. (2015) Oceana Reveals Mislabeling of Iconic Chesapeake Blue Crab. Oceana.org
  • Ortenzi, K. (2014) Changing Voice: Anthropogenic noise and the poison dart frog (video). National Geographic Explorers Journal
  • Ortenzi, K. (2014) Interview with Cesar Nufio. Ecology of an Ecologist podcast
  • Ortenzi, K. (2014) Interview with Nate Dappen and Neil Losin of Days Edge Productions. Ecology of an Ecologist podcast
  • Ortenzi, K. (2013) White Paper: Measuring Mountain-top Removal Coal Production. Sierra Club
  • Ortenzi, K. (2013) Testimony to EPA on Power Plant Effluent Limitations Guidelines. Proposed rule FEPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819-3920, Regulations.gov 
  • Ortenzi, K. (2013) White Paper: Efficacy of Mitigation for Streams Affected by Surface Mining. Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
  • Ortenzi, K. (2013) Op-ed: Making the Most of Furloughs: 6 Survival Tips. Government Executive Magazine
  • Ortenzi, K. (2012) Op-ed: Don’t hide coal ash under the (river) bed. Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Ortenzi, K. (2010) Slow Food NYC Neighborhood Farm Education Programs: An Innovative Learning Paradigm. American Anthropological Association

Relevant Experience

Teaching Assistant
Deep Sea Biology, Oceanography Department, Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia
September 2021 – December 2021

Environment, Energy, Human Rights Officer
U.S. Department of State
Bogota, Colombia and Mumbai, India
December 2016 – June 2021

Biological Science Technician
U.S. National Park Service, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Inventory and Monitoring Program
Acadia, ME, USA
May 2015 – November 2015

Seafood Fraud Scientist
Washington, DC, USA
March 2015 – May 2015

Environmental Economics Teacher
Alternative Breaks Program Graduate Coordinator
University of Maryland
College Park, MD, USA
July 2011 – December 2013

Beyond Coal Campaign Intern
Sierra Club
Washington, DC, USA
January 2013 – May 2013

Contact Information

Instagram: @kortenzi

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-ortenzi-58bbaa18/

Email: Ortenzi at dal.ca