My name is Bess Frierson. I am a freshman at the University of California Santa Cruz where I am majoring in Agroecology and Marine Biology. I am also a UC Honors Scholar. My passion for food security began in high school after recovering from a severe eating disorder with the help of my parents and a medical team. Ever since, I have been dedicated to learning about food justice, biodiversity, and farm legislation so I can work to create a more sustainable, inclusive food system.
Since then I have worked with community farms, school gardens, the UCSC Arboretum California Native Plants Program, the Footprint Coalition, and Seagrove Kelp co.
My passion for kelp farming specifically began a year ago, after visiting and working on a small kelp farming operation in Craig, Alaska. I fell in love with the process of regenerative ocean farming and dedicated my senior year of high school to developing supportive technology in the field.
I received recognition for my preliminary research from LA county, and the NOAA 2022 'Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award', as well as receiving the Gary David Goldberg award and the Pioneer award from the Archer School for Girls in recognition of my work.
This project is a continuation of that research, using my original design to build a full-scale prototype that aidesbenefits kelp farmers in the twine-wrapping process.