I have never been a city person. I have never pictured myself working in an office, wearing heels and blazers, metro-ing in every day and taking the elevator to the 28th floor. And yet here I am, doing all that and more.
My whole life I have been called things like “outdoorsy” and “addicted to the sun.” My passions have always revolved around camping, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and pretty much anything else that would facilitate me being outdoors on a sunny day. Growing up in Santa Cruz, CA, these passions were easy to pursue, and they manifested in the form of surfing, scuba diving, and lots of beach time. As a result of spending so much time outdoors, I developed a strong desire to protect the places that I love, especially the critically endangered ocean environments that I had long taken for granted as a resident of a town who cherishes and protects its marine ecosystems. Once I began traveling and viewing the world outside of my hometown oasis, I began to realize the truth: that our oceans are in trouble.
I decided to address this issue as I went off to college by dedicating my studies to marine biology. Through this I was afforded the opportunity to participate in research cruises, peruse tidepools, collect marine specimens, and contribute to a decade-long study on marine phycology. And as much as I loved my studies I began to realize that I wanted to have a more hands-on role in the conservation of the marine environment. So, after working for a while as a research biologist I decided to attend graduate school at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the joint degree program for MBA and MA in international environmental policy, with a concentration in ocean and coastal resource management. And after spending two years learning all about coastal adaptation, high seas management, MPA’s, and ocean economics I find myself here on the 28th floor at the Environmental Defense Fund.
So far my time here at EDF has been a whirlwind of various projects involving sustainable fishing, catch shares, bycatch reports, HMS fisheries, and decision science. I have been brought into contact with teams from all over the world, including Tahiti, Indonesia, Spain, and Brazil, and I have even made a connection with the head of fisheries and aquaculture at the FAO. I am very excited to see where my projects will take me, and I will keep you posted along the way!