Gagan Lally was a 2020 King Tides Sea Level Rise Student Project Assistant at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Sea Grant College Program. Gagan is from Punjab, grew up in the San Francisco Bay, and currently lives in Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu. She received her B.S. in Natural Resource and Environmental Management with an emphasis in Marine Coastal Ecology in 2021 from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She found her love for community, field work, and education science through working on Maui island as an intern field technician at DLNR's Division of Aquatic Resources and at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology as lead instructional staff for the Center for Community Education. She enjoys surfing, traveling, learning ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, taking her puppies out to Windward Community College, and joining the Heʻeia Estuarine Research Reserve (HNERR) with Laulima workdays with partner ʻāina-based organizations within the ahupuaʻa o Heʻeia such as Paepae o Heʻeia, Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi, Papahana Kuaola, and Koʻolau Foundation – Ko'olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club. Currently she is applying to graduate school to pursue Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Marine Science. She thrives to bridge capacity between community, academia, and ocean conservation management through place-based initiatives within Hawaiʻi.
During her Sea Grant internship, Gagan supported data management and analysis for projections of King Tides, developing communication outreach materials for training citizen scientists, observing and documenting local impacts of King Tide events to help gain insight into what our coastlines may look like in the future due to rising sea-levels, and creating informational video presentations and website edits for community outreach. She was also able to participate in a series of Youth Climate Leadership webinars, and partnered with a cohort of Sea Grant intern panelists. Through her time in Sea Grant, she is grateful for the friends and mentors she made, and the connections she keeps with the organization through other projects after her internship.