The National Sea Grant Law Center


  • Meet NSGLC Summer Research Associate: Patricia McKee

  • May 30th, 2024 — Category: Staff

  • Photo of an American Bullfrog by Judy Gallagher

    The National Sea Grant Law Center is excited to welcome Summer Research Associate — Patricia McKee, a 3L at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

    1. Where are you from?

    I am from Greensboro, North Carolina, but I grew up visiting family in the Midwest, particularly Indiana and Michigan.

    2. What was your first job?

    I worked as a lifeguard and member of the aquatics staff at a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina.

    3. Who inspires you?

    My family inspires me. Their dedication, hard work, and ingenuity has provided me with many opportunities, including the ability to attend law school.

    4. What made you consider a career in law?

    I was initially drawn to a legal career through my desire to protect the natural spaces and communities I hold dear. However, as I investigated these environmental challenges, my advocacy evolved to adopt a global perspective. I appreciate the specialized expertise necessary for pursuing a career in environmental law. It involves crafting unique strategies for addressing niche challenges. For example, my research has delved into issues like patenting proxy species from de-extinction projects and exploring diverse legal protections for climate migrants in the Sahel region of Africa.

    5. What are you most excited about doing this summer?

    I am eager to improve my understanding of ocean and coastal issues. As an undergraduate student, I minored in marine science. I want to integrate this scientific background into my research for the NSGLC.

    6. Where’s your favorite beach? OR What is your favorite beach memory?

    My favorite beach memories include visiting my maternal grandparents at their home on Bald Head Island, NC. We would collect seashells and sand dollars, watch for porpoises and seabirds, and build sandcastles.

    7. What do you do in your free time?

    In my free time, I enjoy writing creatively, listening to music and podcasts, and reading books, from fiction to non-fiction.

    8. Do you have any hidden talents? What are they?

    Yes! I can identify over 170 tree species, their botanical names, and general uses. I took a dendrology course in college, where I developed and refined this skill.

Stay Current with
Our Publications

Subscribe today to our free
quarterly publication, The SandBar
— and to our monthly newsletter,
the Ocean and Coastal Case Alert.