What do you do?
I work in and around wetlands on invertebrates and fish to see what mercury concentrations look like in the wetland and in dry terrestrial areas near the wetland.
Why did you choose this field?
When I was in working towards my bachelors degree I took a marine ecology course. We worked with sharks, mangroves, coral..etc. This was the first time I realized I wanted to work in aquatic biology/ecology. I loved every aspect of the field work and knew this is where I’d be happy.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
When I finished my internship with NOAA on coastal shark conservation and sawfish conservation I could hardly contain my joy. I wish younger me didn’t doubt my ability to get this far. I began college as a Spanish major. It took time before I was comfortable believing I was intelligent enough to major in biology. All that time wasted! If you truly love something just go for it. Your love for the work will lead to success.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love working in STEM because I love being close with nature. Field work is my favorite part of working in biology. However, I also love being able to make conclusions about environments using the samples from field work and running statistics.
Best advice for next generation?
It may sound cliche but have faith in yourself! If you truly love your work then you will make it. Don’t waste time doubting your ability. You can do it!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”