Question asked by Lacella:
My first question is how did you become a National Marine Fisheries Service worker? What do you do during your work time?
When I was about your age, I lived on my grandparents’ farm in the swampy southern part of North Carolina. I spent my days hunting and fishing with long cane poles to catch swimming creatures in ditches, long-standing puddles, ponds and swamps. In the summertime I loved going to the seashore in nearby South Carolina. There, my friends and I spent many hours looking across the ocean surface to spot what we called sea horses (dolphins) and flying fish.
In junior high school I liked science and decided to become a biologist. In college I studied fishery biology and earned three science degrees. After earning a Ph.D., I was hired as a fisheries scientist by my current employer, NOAA Fisheries.
I spent years doing science in the laboratory and in the field, studying the reproductive behavior of fish to understand their social and behavioral ecology and taxonomy. I removed scales and bones and spines from fish to determine their age – information we needed to determine the abundance of fish stocks. Now, as a fishery science administrator, I spend my days going to meetings and talking to people about how to develop educational programs, and going to conferences to meet young scientists and to talk to other program planners (but I miss getting my hands in the water).