Ellie Ekelund was awarded one of the Coos Bay Surfrider Scholarships for 2021.
Coming from a “fishing family” and learning to surf at age 4, Ellie Ekelund grew up with a deep love, connection, and respect for the ocean. Already interested in the biological sciences, as Ellie learned more about the ocean, she became interested in climate change and the effect that humans have on our ocean. Ellie became more fascinated when, in her junior year, she studied the life cycle and habitat of salmon in her father’s ecology class. She applied for, and was accepted into, the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology program. There, she interned with fisheries biologists from the Bureau of Land Management, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Forest Service, and the Coquille and Coos Watershed Associations.
“I plan to put as much effort into preserving our world as possible, so that future generations can find the same happiness … that I do.”
Ellie said, “It wasn’t until I started working that I realized I want to work to better our rivers and oceans for both humans and aquatic life.” Ellie graduated from Coquille High school and began at Oregon State University in fall 2021, with her goal a dual degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology and Marine Biology. Ellie’s fascination and excitement is clear, “I absolutely cannot wait to begin my education and eventually my career in this field. I plan to put as much effort into preserving our world as possible, so that future generations can find the same happiness … that I do.”