whole life I have been interested in animals and the
environment. This led me to pursue my undergraduate
studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison,
where I worked in a population biology lab, studying
predator prey relationships. I graduated with a B.S.
in zoology, unsure of what I wanted to do with my newfound
desire to conserve and study endangered ecosystems.
Immediately after graduation, I took up a new hobby
scuba diving and traveled to Australia
for a month-long environmental conservation volunteer
project. It was there that I went scuba diving for the
first time in the wild, the location just
happening to be the Great
Barrier Reef. Immediately upon jumping into the water
I knew that the rest of my life would be devoted to
studying and protecting the ocean and its diverse wildlife.
Upon completion of my trip to Australia, I worked as
a Waterfront Research Intern with the School for Field
Studies Center for Marine Resource Studies on
the island of South Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
In this year-long position, I earned my Divemaster scuba
certification and assisted faculty with a multitude
of research projects in the field. I also had the opportunity to lead an independent research
project, marking and recapturing hawksbill sea turtles
(Eretmochelys imbricata) to determine their growth
returning back to the states, I began to apply for graduate
degrees in marine conservation, hoping to work with
sea turtles once again. In the meantime, I worked as
a dive leader, tour guide, educator, team lead, and
dressed up as Scuba Santa at Underwater
Adventures Aquarium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This
provided me a great opportunity to expand my knowledge regarding marine ecology and conservation,
as well as allowing me to educate and share my passion
for the marine environment with the public.
as a graduate student of marine science at Hawaii Pacific
University, I am working to quantify juvenile green
sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) diving behavior in
a high-use foraging area in relation to habitat and
environmental variability operating on diel, tidal,
and seasonal cycles. The results of this study will help elucidate
how environmental conditions in space (habitat heterogeneity)
and time (diel, tidal, seasonal cycles) influence turtle
habitat use patterns.
This improved understanding of turtle habitat use patterns
and grazing dynamics will help the implementation of
ecosystem-based management approaches for protecting
dense foraging aggregations of juvenile sea turtles
in areas of high human-induced mortality.
defended my MSMS on August 2011
My thesis presentation was awarded the sunner-up best oral student presentation at the 2011 Hawai'i Conservation Alliance Conference.
After graduating from HPU, I have been working for the Marine Turtle Research Program, at NOAA's Pacific Islands Science Center, in Honolulu.