I am a native Californian, having grown up in the Bay Area and gone to school in Southern California. I got my undergraduate degree in Mathematical Biology from Harvey Mudd College. During my time at Mudd, I spent a lot of time developing mathematical models, in various topics from plant genetics to fisheries management to lizard life history.
Though I enjoyed this research, I felt that I was lacking in field experience, so after graduating, I spent about a year with the National Park Service doing water quality monitoring for a creek restoration project. Not only did I gain the experience I was looking for, I reaffirmed my desire to work in natural resources management and found a fondness for the freshwater world.
All in all, it made QERM a fitting choice for graduate studies as the program combines rigorous mathematical training with an incredible diversity of choices for doing ecological/environmental research.
After a year of coursework, I joined the Freshwater Ecology and Conservation Lab, headed by Dr. Julian D. Olden in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. As the name suggests, the lab is interested in all things related to freshwater ecology and conservation. Students of the lab often pursue research projects that contribute to our understanding of basic ecology while having direct management implications.
While at graduate school, it dawned on me that despite my love of science, I felt that I had more to contribute in the arena of science communication than I did in scientific research. Hence, I am now pursuing a career as a science communicator.