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Lucy Vlietstra
U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Science Department (ds-1)
31 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320
(860) 444‐8622
Associate Professor, Marine Science Section
Science Department
U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Professor Vlietstra holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota -Twin Cities and a Master of Science from the State University of New York - Syracuse. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of California - Irvine, specializing in marine ecology. Afterward, she undertook a post-doctoral teaching fellowship at the Coast Guard Academy before accepting a faculty position at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Four years later, she returned to the faculty of the Coast Guard Academy, where she currently teaches courses in Marine Ecology, Marine Biology, and Atmospheric and Marine Science. In addition to teaching and advising cadets, Professor Vlietstra conducts grant-funded research in the field of marine ecology and conservation. Her current projects focus on environmental considerations in offshore wind energy development, food web dynamics in the southeastern Bering Sea, and the foraging ecology of piscivorous waterbirds overwintering on the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

  • Ph.D., University of California - Irvine, 2003
  • M.S., State University of New York - Syracuse, 1998
  • B.S., University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, 1994

Courses Taught:
  • Marine Ecology
  • Marine Biology
  • Coral Reef Ecology
  • Atmospheric and Marine Science

Selected Publications:
  • Burger, J., C. Gordon, L. Niles, J. Newman, G. Forcey, and L. Vlietstra. 2011. Risk evaluation for federally listed (roseate tern, piping plover) or candidate (red knot) bird species in offshore waters: a first step for managing the potential impacts of wind facility development on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. Renewable Energy 36: 338-351.
  • Vlietstra, L. and J. Loy. 2010. Federal partners in emergency management: a cadet field trip to Washington, D.C. United States Coast Guard Academy Alumni Bulletin 72(4): 30-34.
  • Sinclair, E.H., L.S. Vlietstra, D.S. Johnson, T.K. Zeppelin, G.V. Byrd, A.M. Springer, R.R. Ream, and G.L. Hunt Jr. 2008. Patterns in prey use among fur seals and seabirds in the Pribilof Islands. Deep-Sea Research Part II 55: 1897-1918.
  • Jahncke, J., L.S. Vlietstra, M.B. Decker, P. Sullivan, and G.L. Hunt. 2008. At-sea distribution of marine birds around the Pribilof Islands: an interdecadal comparison of spatial and temporal patterns. Deep-Sea Research Part II 55: 1809-1826.
  • Vlietstra, L.S. 2007. Potential impact of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy wind turbine on common (Sterna hirundo) and roseate (S. dougallii) terns. Proceedings of the Oceans ‘07 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Marine Challenges: Coastline to Deep Sea, 18-21 June 2007, Aberdeen Scotland.
  • Vlietstra, L.S., K.O. Coyle, N.B. Kachel, and G.L. Hunt, Jr. 2005. Tidal front affects the size of prey used by a top marine predator, the short-tailed shearwater (Puffinus tenuirostris). Fisheries Oceanography 14(S1): 196-211.
  • Vlietstra, L.S. 2005. Spatial associations between seabirds and prey: effects of large-scale prey abundance on small-scale seabird distribution. Marine Ecology Progress Series 291: 275-287.
  • Vlietstra, L.S., and J.A. Parga. 2002. Long-term changes in the type, but not amount, of ingested plastic particles in short-tailed shearwaters in the southeastern Bering Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin 44: 935-945.

Professional Memberships:
  • National Marine Educators Association
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • The Oceanography Society