Gabe Schwartzman, director of Life Quality Initiatives since 2015, is transitioning institutional roles to focus on studies of rural life quality as he begins a Graduate Research Fellowship with the National Science Foundation while pursuing his doctorate in cultural geography at the University of Minnesota. Schwartzman’s studies follow upon his research of rural livelihoods in Brazilian Amazon forest reserves as a Fulbright Research Fellow. While he continues to support SMHA’s Life Quality Initiatives on project development, program development, policy work and strategy, his position shifts away from direct administration of the Life Quality Initiatives. His studies in geography will focus on increasing the quality of life for rural communities in the Southeast, the Gulf Coast and Appalachia. He also continues to work with SMHA in writing and developing research that furthers the goals of rural life quality for fishing families, those facing transformations from climate change, with particular focus on working with women and communities of color across the Louisiana Coast, the US Southeast and the Brazilian Amazon.