Research Oceanographer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility, USA
Country of Birth: USA
Educational Background: PhD Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA; BS Biology, Texas A&M University, USA
Who or what inspired you to work in science/engineering?
As a young child, I was very curious about the ocean, especially its animals and plants. Science provided an outlet to explore using knowledge of science, technology, and math. When I was an undergraduate, Dr. Greta Fryxell and a NSF Research Experience for undergraduates fellowship at Texas A&M University allowed me to test my curiosity with phytoplankton, and it was an uphill journey from there. The undergraduate internship gave me a whole new perspective on science coming right out of high school.
What are the primary responsibilities of your current job?
My research interests are in phytoplankton ecology, physiology, and optics as applied to remote sensing in earth science. I have a laboratory and equipment for ocean sampling of the phytoplankton community. I spend much of my time writing proposals, scientific research papers, and contributions to books. I also spend time working on science education and
public outreach for NASA, focusing on the NASA Ocean Color Mission and the Global Precipitation Mission.
Do you have advice for young women considering a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)?
I would recommend taking as many classes related to these subjects as possible and learn to apply them. Having several internships in these areas will help students to learn to have realistic experiences in education. Most students typically have two or three internships before graduating.