As a native New Orleanian, I was quite literally born below sea level. It only makes sense I’ve always had an alluring attraction to marine sciences. Growing up in coastal Louisiana had a major impact on me. By the time I was ten years old, I had seen my family and community struggle through numerous devastating hurricanes and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill which left the shores I love so dearly in a disturbing state. These events opened my eyes to the long-lasting impacts that natural disasters and anthropogenic hazards can have on affected regions, ecosystems and wildlife populations, leading me to be the passionate environmentalist I am today. I obtained my Bachelor’s of Science in May of 2022, from a liberal arts institution called St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. During my time as a Hilltopper, I majored in Environmental Science & Policy and minored in Social Welfare, while playing three years of NCAA DII collegiate volleyball. Though Austin is a landlocked city, I still found a way to stay close to the water by spending my free days swimming and hammocking along the Barton Creek Greenbelt. I also sought out opportunities to work with aquatic systems within the region, doing both restoration/conservation work on urban creeks and the San Marcos river helping to enforce and execute the Edwards Aquifer Authority Habitat Conservation Plan. In the winter of 2021-2022, I was a student at SFS TCI where I absolutely fell in love with the community, environment, and many potcakes of South Caicos. I did my Dive Master training in Key Largo with Rainbow Reef Dive Center this past summer, and am incredibly excited to be back facilitating the in-water activities for students at the center. This year I am looking forward to participating in community outreach with the island’s local youth and diving into my research interests further, working with SFS faculty to hopefully narrow in on a potential pathway to graduate school.