Aly is the planning officer at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and is based out of Woods Hole, Mass. She coordinates with center staff to align the annual research program funding with the center, regional, and NOAA Fisheries strategic plans in the spirit of collaboration.
Aly was inspired to work in the marine science and policy field from growing up on Cape Cod and working in the marine trades. She earned her undergraduate degree in environmental, earth, and ocean sciences from the University of Massachusetts Boston where she also worked as a deckhand for the Division of Marine Operations. After a couple years working at an oyster farm and hatchery in Maine, she earned her M.M.A from the University of Rhode Island.
After graduating, Aly worked on a couple of yachts and a commercial fishing vessel based out of Rhode Island before becoming a contract research assistant for the Social Sciences Branch of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center at the Narragansett Laboratory. As a research assistant she analyzed oral histories to investigate a phenomenon called the “graying of the fleet"—the rising average age of fishermen and the aging fishing fleet.
She then went on to be a fisheries management specialist for almost 6 years with the Sustainable Fisheries Division at NOAA Fisheries' Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office. Aly developed fishery management policy, monitored fishery quota, and issued research permits for the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish and Atlantic Herring fishery management plans.