Chief of Biogeography
NOS Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment
As chief of the Biogeography Branch, I oversee a program that provides resource managers with important information about where plants and animals live in the ocean. Using this information, they can then decide how best to manage the many activities that take place in the marine environment while still conserving marine life.
I spend my days surrounded by some of the most incredibly talented individuals I have ever encountered. It’s also great to get paid for splashing around in the water all day, which I sometimes get to do!
There are so many management needs around the nation, yet we have time to address only a few. Making that selection is one of the most difficult parts of this position.
I have a bachelor of science in aquatic biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a master of science in biology from the University of Houston.
I spent a number of years growing up near the waters around Vancouver, British Columbia, and then as an undergraduate on a campus that rests on the Pacific Ocean. Inspiration was everywhere.
In 2000, I was a recipient of the Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship, which places graduate students in marine sciences with policymakers and managers in Washington, DC, who deal with marine issues on a regular basis. I connected with NOAA’s Biogeography Branch and have been here ever since.
(1) Make sure to get involved in something you are truly passionate about. (2) Interview people who have careers in line with your interests to find out what they really do day-to-day. (3) Work hard, but make sure you still have fun.