Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Applying Design Thinking to Ocean Solutions: Oceans by Design 2020 Final Projects

Main content start

Oceans by Design is an experiential course co-hosted by the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) and the The course was developed to apply human-centered design thinking to ocean solutions that combat illegal fishing, manage marine protected areas, enable small scale fishers, and support ocean researchers. In this class, students worked in multi-disciplinary teams to develop design questions, identify users, interview experts and stakeholders, and prototype and test ideas. Class activities and themes ranged from empathy interviews and designing for inclusivity for subsistence fishers to prototyping policy and simulating high seas treaty negotiations at the United Nations. In addition, students participated in activities focused on understanding emerging technologies such as machine learning and virtual reality. At the end of the course, student teams presented their ideas that support research priorities at COS to the class, partners, and potential users.

Kevin Chand

Kevin Chand Marine Policy Expert

The students collaborated virtually over nine weeks on a guided project of their creation. For the final class, each group was asked to prepare a 12-minute presentation with the following guidance:

  • Provide context for your “challenge” or “How Might We…” question
  • Share info about your user and your idea
  • Note both your product and your process as well as the design abilities you refined

All final student presentations and related resources are below. Enjoy exploring!

Student Teams

The Lionfish

Laura Anderson (BS '20 Biology, MA '21 Earth Systems), Alema Fitisemanu (BS '21 Science, Technology and Society), Lily Laugharn (Class of 2023, Undeclared)

How might we connect students to offshore/pelagic systems in ways that are accessible and connect to cultural values?


Trudie Grattan (BS '21 Human Biology), Shalini Iyengar (SPILS Fellow, Stanford Law), Duncan Mactavish (BS '20 Environmental Systems Engineering, MS '22 Environmental Engineering)

How might we incentivize pelagic fishing in Palau and encourage tourists to consume pelagic fish?


Osanna Drake (BS '20, MS '21 Earth Systems), Emilio Maciel (MSx '20, Stanford GSB)

How might we use data stories to attract tourists who share social and environmental values to Palau?

Explore the Symbiont StoryMap

Kelp it Local

Shiriel King Abramson (BA '20 American Studies, MA Sustainability Science and Practice), Natasha Batista (BS '18, MS Earth Systems), Sierra Garcia (BS '18, MA '20 Earth Systems), Jasdeep Singh (BS '18 Materials Science and Engineering, MS '20 Computer Science)

How might we increase the visibility of locally sourced seafood in the Bay Area?

Instagram Twitter

Coral Morals

Paiton Gleeson (BS '22 Earth Systems), Haley Hemm (MEd '20, Graduate School of Education), Danielle Nguyen (BAS '20 Mathematical and Computational Science, German, MA '21 Sustainability Science and Practice), Dylan Schuler (Class of 2023, Undeclared)

How might we co-create meaningful ocean education for students in order to build a community of learners who are caring ocean citizens?

Check Out the Coral Morals Website

Oceans by Design team members 2020

Thank you for a great quarter!