Where did you grow up?
I grew up on a small family farm in Northern Minnesota. This experience gave me great appreciation for the natural environment.
Where did you go to school and in what subject did you get your degrees?
I started my college education at North Dakota State University focusing on avian ecology. This led to a number of jobs conducting breeding bird censuses in Western North Dakota and Northern Minnesota. I finished my undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota focusing on fisheries ecology before moving to University of California where I earned a Master's degree. My subject focus included marine science, population dynamics, and larval fish ecology.
How did you come to work at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center?
I began my fisheries career as an ecologist and stock assessment scientist at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. I accepted a position at NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center in 2012 as an analyst in the Observer Program and became the lead for the Innovation Program. During this time I represented both Washington State and Alaska Fisheries Science Center on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Science and Statistical Committee as member, Vice Chair, and Chair. For much of my career I have been involved in developing new innovative technologies, including camera/laser systems for remotely operated vehicles while in Washington. I also focused on developing advanced camera systems that integrate machine learning to automate species identification, length, and count for remote monitoring. My interest in advancing new technology led me to the Southeast Fisheries Science Center. I Accepted the position of Galveston Lab Director, and transitioned to director of the newly created Fisheries, Assessment, Technology Engineering Support (FATES) Division.
What do you do at the science center?
I am the director of the FATES Division. I oversee four branches that provide essential services and development of new innovative technologies to support the center’s mission.
What do you like most about your position?
I really like working with and supporting an incredibly talented staff.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to spend time with family and friends, as well as travelling, kayaking, and hiking in remote areas.