Waterfront Assistant Intern
B.A. in Conservation Biology (certificate in Environmental Studies)
University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI, USA)
I grew up in a small suburb outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When I was thirteen, I took a family trip to Virgin Gorda which is a part of the British Virgin Islands. Initially, I was terrified of the ocean because I had never seen it before, and I was scared to even swim in it. My dad encouraged me to try snorkeling, and once I got my mask on and saw the coral reef system beneath me, I was awe-struck. By the end of the trip, nobody could get me out of the water! That’s where my love for the ocean began.
In the summer of 2016, I earned my open water scuba diving certification. It opened up a whole new world for me and enforced my love for underwater environments, whether that be freshwater lakes in Wisconsin or the various parts of the ocean I have now traveled to. I continued my scuba education up through earning my Divemaster certification. Scuba diving has been a big part of my life ever since I got certified because I could now see, study, and be a part of the underwater world that I loved.
I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated in December of 2018 with a Bachelor of Art’s degree in conservation biology and a certificate in environmental studies. In the fall of 2017 I decided to study abroad. My studies started through SFS in Turks and Caicos, but due to Hurricane Irma, I finished the program in Bocas del Toro, Panamá. While in Panamá, I completed research concerning the analysis of red mangrove prop root epibiont phyla biodiversity within and outside of a local marine protected area. Studying and visibly seeing the impacts that climate change has on the ocean sparked a fire in me to do everything I can to make a difference, including being an ocean advocate and sharing my passion with others through education.