During my final year of my Master’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I had been studying nanotechnology, but I didn’t want to pursue it as a career path. At the same time, I was on my way to becoming certified as a scuba instructor. One day, it occurred to me: I love the water, I have a degree in physics – why can’t I combine them and do both? Why not pursue physical oceanography?
I did not have an academic background in marine science, so I decided to expand my knowledge and experience through a summer program at The School for Field Studies in the Turks and Caicos Islands. My experience at SFS-TCI definitely gave me a greater insight as a scientist about the interactions between coastal engineering projects and their consequences to the environment.
There can be a huge gap between physical oceanographers and ecologists. Physical oceanographers can predict physical phenomenon, like motion, salinity, and temperature, but they do not always consider how these phenomena affect marine life, and vice versa. I think the future of science is lying in the areas where they blend together. At some point they have to interwine.
Right now, I am finishing up my Master’s thesis on hydrodynamic modeling of the coastal waters in the northeastern part of Puerto Rico. I also lead scuba dives in Puerto Rico, and I love being able to educate my groups on the diverse marine life of the Caribbean!