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Celebrating Pride Month with NOAA Fisheries

June 01, 2024

Meet some of our colleagues across the country and learn more about how they contribute to NOAA Fisheries' mission.

dam-migration-miss/1280_ANC714BTluY8.png One of the small boats returns to the ship under a rainbow after collecting water samples and deploying instruments around Kure Atoll. Photo: NOAA Fisheries/James Morioka.

NOAA Fisheries is proud to join the nation in recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ Pride Month to commemorate the many contributions of LGBTQ+ colleagues. This celebration throughout June is held to increase the awareness of LGBTQ+ history and the contributions of individuals who are a part of this community. 

Get a closer look at the work of staff members who help achieve our mission of ensuring sustainable fisheries and conserving marine species for future generations.

Pride Month Features

Meet Rachel Eckley, Research Associate

Rachel's role at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center is to improve data limitations of the U.S. Caribbean region as they relate to stock assessment and ecosystem-based fisheries management. She loves being able to collaborate with staff and regional partners in the U.S. Caribbean, and feels lucky to have found a position that uses both of her specialties of Hispanic cultures and marine science.

Learn more about Rachel Eckley and her work

Rachel Banton kayaking.
Rachel Banton kayaking near Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Photo provided by Rachel Banton.

Meet Darius Thibodeaux, Help Desk Technician for the Office of the Chief Information Officer

Darius Thibodeaux is a Help Desk Technician for the Customer Experience and Service Delivery Team in the Office of the Chief Information Officer. His key responsibility is to serve as the primary point of contact for all VIP-related IT Help Desk incidents and requests. Outside of work, Darius thoroughly enjoys traveling, ATVs, playing video games, recording podcasts, and his passion, singing—whether it is with church choirs or community groups. Working at NOAA Fisheries gives him the opportunity to use his technical background to do what he loves to do—serve and help. 

Learn more about Darius Thibodeaux and his work

Kayaking in the Pacific Ocean
Darius Thibodeaux kayaking in the Pacific Ocean. Photo courtesy of Darius Thibodeaux.

Natalie McLenaghan, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist

Natalie McLenaghan is a Marine Habitat Resource Specialist with the Office of Habitat Conservation’s Restoration Center. Natalie serves as a Federal Program Officer and a Competition Manager for coastal habitat restoration and resilience grants. She takes pride in working at NOAA Fisheries, in an office that restores habitat for threatened and endangered species and builds resilience in coastal communities. She finds the work to be meaningful and it provides a sense of purpose.

Learn more about Natalie McLenaghan and her work 

Natalie McLenaghan
Natalie biking through Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.

Meet Kristin O'Brien, Program Support Specialist for the Office of Habitat Conservation

Kristin O'Brien is a Program Support Specialist for the Office of Habitat Conservation. She does cost documentation for the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program and the Deepwater Horizon program. Outside of work, Kristin is a comedian and playwright. Her grandfather was her greatest influence. He loved and accepted her for who she was and he was the person who always encouraged her to pursue a life of government service.

Learn more about Kristin O'Brien and her work

Kristin is a white person looking up at the camera smiling with short reddish brown hair wearing a bright pink sweater with a background of yellow leafy bushes and green foliage at the United States Botanical Garden.
Kristin at the United States Botanical Garden. Courtesy: Kristin O'Brien

Meet Abigail Wells, Molecular Geneticist for the Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Abigail Wells is a Molecular Geneticist supporting the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Her key role there is to generate genetic data on marine species. Outside of work, Abigail likes to fly recreationally and volunteer with GenPride. Working to support NOAA Fisheries as a contractor has been an amazing journey. She has grown tremendously in the lab, been out to remote field sites and away to sea, and worked with an amazing group of people. Together they have achieved great scientific work and driven forward a diversity and equity team model that has taken root at many other science centers. 

Learn more about Abigail Wells and her work

Headshot of Abi in front of a red and white Cessna 152.
Abi Wells next to a Cessna 152, the plane they trained to get their private pilot's certificate in.

Last updated by Office of Communications on June 04, 2024

Diversity and Inclusion