General Career Information…
What is your educational background?
I have a Marine Biology degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz
How did you end up in the field you are in today?
Lots of volunteering and internships! These are both great ways to get into any job that you are interested in. The more different experiences you can get, the better your chances of getting your dream job.
What advice would you give to kids who are interested in studying science?
Never give up. Science fields can be difficult to get into, but the more you continue to work hard and get experience in a lot of different areas, the better chance you’ll have.
On Stranded Seals…
How and where do you conduct your work with stranded seals?
We respond to strandings in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Fishers Island (New York). That’s over a thousand miles of coastline; therefore, we get a lot of help from our volunteer first responders. If we determine that an animal needs to be rescued, it is brought to our Seal Rescue Clinic here at Mystic Aquarium for rehabilitation. Staff, interns, and rehab volunteers then care for the animal until it is ready for release.
What tools and/or technologies do you use in your work with stranded seals?
When we go to the beach to rescue a seal, we use a number of things. Plastic herding boards allow us to safely move the animal into a plastic dog kennel which we use to transport the animal. We have a large truck dedicated to our stranding program that allows us to transport the animal back to the Aquarium for rehabilitation. Once the animal arrives at our Seal Rescue Clinic, our veterinary team performs a physical exam to determine the best course of action to care for the animal. There are a lot of other tools that we use in stranding, but these are a few of the basics.
What have you learned so far from your work with stranded seals?
Every seal is different and, therefore, poses a new set of challenges--from trying to rescue them on the beach to trying to get them healthy in rehabilitation.
What is the most interesting or exciting thing that has happened during your work with stranded seals?
It’s always a great feeling to be able to release a seal that you have worked so hard to rehabilitate. We see the animals at their worst and then have the opportunity to get them feeling better during rehab. Once the time comes for release, there’s no better feeling in the world!
On Being a Kid…
What kinds of books did you like to read when you were a kid? Why?
Honestly, I was never big on reading! I did enjoy looking through animal field guides to learn more about animals.
What was your favorite subject when you were in middle school?
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A marine biologist. Just goes to show that if you set your mind on something you can achieve it!
What advice do you wish that someone had given you when you were a kid?
Don’t focus on one thing that you want to do in your life. The more experiences you can get doing different things, the more well rounded you’ll become.
On the Rest of Life…
Who are some of the people you look up to or admire?
Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong. They’re both true competitors and have always worked extremely hard to go after their dreams. Their focus and ambition on the task they have set out to achieve has always been something that I’ve envied.Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong. They’re both true competitors and have always worked extremely hard to go after their dreams. Their focus and ambition on the task they have set out to achieve has always been something that I’ve envied.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to go hiking, take my dogs for a walk, spend time with family and friends, and anything else you can think of that happens outside (softball, basketball, etc).
Do you have any final thoughts or words of advice that you would like to share?
Never give up on your dream and always live like there’s no tomorrow!