Ryan Swanson

Ryan photo

Position Title
PhD student


Ryan is a second-year doctoral student in the Graduate Group in Ecology and a trainee in the Sustainable Oceans program. Originally from Chicago, he spent six years in the Navy (four on a submarine), and then used his Post-9/11 GI Bill to earn his B.A. in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and M.M.A. from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA) at the University of Washington. His master’s degree focused on the nexus of marine and environmental science and policy, and laid the groundwork for a planned dissertation focusing on coastal community resilience to climate change-related shocks. He previously worked on a project that investigated how local officials in municipalities respond to policy disruptions, specifically the global recycling market collapse and rise in micro-mobility use. His favorite thing to do is travel internationally, closely followed by cross-country road trips to experience the beauty of the U.S.’s landscape and population. 

Education and Degree(s)
  • BA in zoology (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Masters in Marine Affairs (MMA, University of Washington)
Research Interests & Expertise
  • coastal communities
  • governance
  • ocean and coastal policy