What is your key responsibility?
My work in the Life History Program focuses mainly on highly migratory tuna, billfish, and sharks. I collect international stock assessment data on Pacific bluefin, manage our international Cooperative Billfish Tagging Program, and analyze tagging data from satellite tags for a variety of species.
Where do you conduct your work?
I sample tuna at the sportfishing docks in San Diego, and occasionally join on NOAA research cruises in the California Current.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Puerto Rico and lived my early childhood between Puerto Rico and the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia, but grew up in Oceanside, CA and call San Diego home. I am very grateful to have grown up in the ocean—tropical and temperate—at all stages of my life!
What is your educational background?
I earned my B.S. in Biology at Seattle University and am currently finishing my M.S. in Geographic Information Science at San Diego State University, focused on benthic habitat mapping and environmental remote sensing.
Is there a book, quote, or person that influenced you to be the person that you are today?
Many! First and foremost, my mom has always shown me to be resourceful, creative, and never give up on your individual goals as a woman. She taught my sister and I that if there isn't an existing or fair solution, find, fix, or make your own. As a young kid, I loved books by Graeme Base. His incredible art and clever prose sparked my early fascination with nature and love of imaginary worlds and eventual sci-fi. I am also inspired by the works and lives of Edward Abbey, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Noam Chomsky.
What does Women's History Month mean to you?
Celebrating Women's History Month honors generations of women who have rallied against systemic injustice and carried the weight of paid and unpaid labor in the global workforce. Women, especially Indigenous women and women of color, have been at the forefront of every major step forward—civil rights, environmental conservation, LGBTQ rights, feminist movement, antiwar efforts (to name a few). They continue leading the fight of making the world more equitable for all. Making space for women to share their stories, particularly when underrepresented in STEM fields, is important for our larger society to understand each journey is different and valid.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to travel, camp, surf, garden, cook, and read novels.