Arctic Campaign Manager and Senior Scientist
Juneau, AK, USA
Being born and raised in the middle of the country some people think it is a bit strange that I am so passionate about our oceans. I saw the ocean for the first time when I was seven years old on a family trip to California. It was late in the afternoon when my dad drove us over a hill near San Diego, and there in front of us was the Pacific. The sun was reflecting off what looked like an endless black cover that had been pulled over the world. I still clearly remember the flood of amazement and mystery that came over me then; it was the beginning of my connection to the oceans. The mystery of the oceans led me to write high school papers on dolphins, surf my way to a marine biology degree in Santa Barbara, swim through the southern California kelp forests for a job, and study the rocky shores of northern California and Oregon in graduate school. Unfortunately one of the few things we have learned about our oceans is that the waves of human impacts have taken their toll. We have taken 90% of our big fish out of the sea, destroyed ancient deep-sea coral beds with gaping trawls, and suffocated our oceans with pollution. Given the state of our oceans, I decided to make the change from academia to advocacy to have a more direct role in protecting and restoring the Pacific. Working for Oceana, I can bring science and my passion together to help this and future generations have healthy oceans where we can catch dinner, play and draw inspiration.