I am a southeast Alaskan transplant (from Juneau), where after a ridiculous number of years in schooling and tangential career changes, my husband, Tom and I moved to northwest Oregon on the Columbia River. Although the Portland area is home now, I’ve lived in a number of other states before settling on one permanently, including: Alaska, Colorado, Washington, Hawai’i, Montana, and Arkansas. Careers eventually brought Tom and I to the Portland area. During different periods of my life, I worked as a deck hand on a commercial fishing boat (FV The Blue Zephyr), a research assistant out of Gustavus, Alaska conducting harbor seal, cow-calf population scans, as a research naturalist for Pacific Whale Foundation (Hawai’i), a kayaking guide and naturalist for Adlersheim Wilderness Lodge (Juneau, Alaska), and now for the better part of 12 years at Pacific University in Forest Grove, as a Comparative Animal Behaviorist and Behavioral Neuroscience professor. I have a curiosity for unexplored places, food, and new opportunities. I have learned, regardless of how much it makes your heart race, saying, “yes” to a new opportunity is the best way to experience fully, a happy life, both personally and professionally.
If I’m not traveling or teaching at Pacific University, I spend my time at the Oregon Zoo, the Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Marine Park, or Seattle Pacific University’s Blakely Island Field Station, investigating river otter behavior.
The photos below are plug for Ocean Futures, an experience I was privileged to contribute to as part of an Earthwatch service project, with Jean Michel-Cousteau evaluating coral reef health and the impact of the crown of thorns on zooxanthellae in Fiji.