Graphic Designer and Illustrator
NOAA Coastal Services Center
What do you like most about working at NOS?
I enjoy working with people who encourage creativity. That is abundant here in my office. I also like getting paid.
What is the hardest part of your job?
I work with brilliant pocket-protecting scientists every day, so the hardest part has to be deciphering their code-speak and fancy wizardry, and then digitally painting a masterpiece that inspires, informs, and persuades their audience.
What is your educational background?
I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a bachelor of fine arts in doodling and a minor in art history. I also have an associate's degree in industrial technology.
What inspired your interest in the ocean and coasts?
I like looking for pirate gold with my family. Better yet, I like to dress up like the Creature from the Black Lagoon and scare people.
How did you end up working at NOAA?
In the late 1990s, a friend of a friend told me he knew someone at NOAA using "some kind of high-tech graphics software," and that NOAA was hiring interns. So I applied, got fingerprinted, and was hired to save the coast from the evils of PowerPoint.
What advice do you have for young people wanting a career in the "ocean realm"?
No matter what career you choose, it's all about people skills. Each person brings something new to the table. Diversity is the key. If you can learn one skill, one idea, one trait from just one person who is different from you, you have unlocked another way to benefit the world.