Research

2013-Present — Graduate Student Researcher, McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Examined molt duration and progression in flipper-tagged animals. Assisted with Weddell seal sedation procedures, including: tag instrumentation, blood collection, vibrissae extraction, body composition measurements, blubber/muscle/skin biopsies, blood volume measurements. Completed hematocrit analyses and red blood cell counts.


2013-Present — Field Assistant, NOAA/NMML, Pribilof Islands, Alaska

Resighted flipper-tagged female northern fur seals, noting tag number and type to assess tag loss rates. Documented behavioral interactions between females and pups to assess reproductive rates. Performed animal counts along rookery to determine peak time of rookery utilization. Participated in pup shearing and tagging.

2013 — Laboratory Technician, Benthic Ecology Lab, Moss Landing, California

Used a scanning electron microscope to photograph and identify larvae from a hydrothermal vent community in the Lau Basin, Fiji.


2012-13 — Laboratory Technician, Benthic Invertebrate Lab, Santa Cruz, California

Care and monitoring of laboratory invertebrates (echinoderms, cnidarians) and marine algae used in long-term experiments, autoclaving glassware for phytoplankton inoculation.


2012-13 — Field & Database Technician, Costa Lab, Santa Cruz, California

Assist with northern elephant seal sedation procedures, including: satellite tag instrumentation, blood sample collection, vibrissae extraction, and body composition measurements, blubber/muscle biopsies, seasonal dye marking and flipper tag deployments, daily tag resights, daily data entry into longitudinal demographic study database. Complete detail-oriented laboratory work, including cleaning and preparation of pinniped vibrissae for stable isotope analysis, blood processing and archiving, tritium distillations, and tritium analysis by liquid scintillation counting.


2011-12  — Field Intern, Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Lab, Santa Cruz, California

Support the field research program on behavior and vocal communication of elephant seals at Año Nuevo reserve. Direct responsibilities include: seasonal dye marking of adult males, photometric and photo ID data collection, record keeping, database entry and maintenance, daily rookery census, GPS location tracking and re-sights of target males, scoring behavioral interactions, support for acoustic playback experiments, filming of experiments, statistical analysis. Invited presenter/researcher at Sealebrations public outreach event for the Año Nuevo State Park in 2012, 2013.


2012 — Dive Technician, US Geological Survey, San Nicolas Island, California

Collected fish, algae and invertebrate abundance and distribution data using SCUBA as part of a 30-year subtidal baseline monitoring project.


2012 — Intern, Coastal Conservation Action Lab, Santa Cruz, California

Synthesized published literature regarding invasive vertebrates and other threats to vulnerable and endangered seabirds on islands of South America into a database that will be used to prioritize conservation efforts.


2012 — Volunteer, Raimondi-Carr Lab, Long Marine Laboratory, Santa Cruz, California

Aided in developing an online kelp forest species database to aid in the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the complex ecosystem. Gathered and synthesized published literature to make it available to the general public.


2011-12 — Shift Manager, Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Santa Cruz, California

Managed and trained 200 volunteers on marine biology and conservation topics for the purpose of public education. Responsibilities included interviewing potential docents, providing annual evaluations of volunteers, mentoring interns, opening/closing exhibit hall, welcoming groups, operating AV equipment. Created specialized presentations for existing volunteers on marine conservation topics, including: climate change, fisheries, geology, invertebrates, kelp forest ecology, marine mammal research, plastic pollution, sharks. Completed 11-week training by UCSC researchers that taught fundamentals of interpretation and marine science. Responsible for making research accessible to the public by interpreting exhibits and leading a 45-minute tour. Position required excellent public speaking skills and the ability to interact with a diverse group of people.


2010-12 — Animal/Research Technician, Pinniped Cognition & Sensory System Lab, Santa Cruz, California

Completed over 1000 volunteer hours immersed in the fields of cognition, psychophysics and animal behavior at a captive animal facility that contains 7 pinnipeds and 1 sea otter. Utilized operant conditioning program to instill enriching behaviors, research behaviors, gating behaviors, novel behaviors in resident animals. Studied literature pertaining to pinniped natural history, mentored newer volunteers, completed an annual written report of animal husbandry, aided in organization and maintenance of daily records, became familiar with experimental design, set-up, data collection, in both cognition and sensory system experiments. Developed protocol to examine photometric size and growth in resident animals.


2008-09 — Intern, Birch Aquarium, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, California

Created 100-page volunteer guide to the Hall of Fishes containing diet, habitat, behavioral information and pictures for 300 fishes common to Southern California to aid the docents in interpretation to the public. Completed over 115 hours of service interpreting outdoor tidepools to visitors.


2005-07 — Volunteer Educator, Conservation Corps, Wild Animal Park, San Diego, California

Completed over 100 hours of volunteer service educating the public about environmental preservation. Used interpretive props and gave informal presentations to mixed audiences at various terrestrial mammal enclosures.

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