How I came to be so enamored with coral reefs is a regular topic of curiosity in my family. I grew up in South Bend, Indiana, and the nearest thing to an ocean is the decidedly unsalted Lake Michigan. However, I was hooked after seeing the saltwater exhibits at the Shedd Aquarium. I went to the Bahamas as part of Shedd’s High School Marine Biology program and a dive certification soon followed. I studied abroad at SFS TCI in the Fall 2015 semester and completed directed research with Heidi and my classmates on health trends of the coral reef, and my portion focused on coral recruitment and substrate characteristics. In 2016 I conducted research on invasive lionfish behavior as part of a summer REU program in Little Cayman. After graduation, I worked as an intern with CIEE Research Station Bonaire, a coral restoration technician with the Nature Conservancy in St. Croix, and a camp counselor for Sail Caribbean in the British Virgin Islands.
I am excited to return to South Caicos as the Diving Safety Officer and facilitate underwater education, exploration, and research opportunities for our students. One of my favorite moments of the semester is the first ocean dive of the Open Water course and seeing student reactions to the environment and the abundant life within. In the moments I am not underwater or working on dive gear, I love playing ultimate frisbee and volleyball.