Outreach and communication are critical parts of scientific discovery, but particularly for conservation scientists as conservation biology is invariably intertwined with human activities. As a result, I intentionally and consistently pursue experiences in communication, leadership, and outreach.

Feeding Al, the late adult male northern fur seal at the Seattle Aquarium. Photo: M. Stephan

The Seattle Aquarium

I have volunteered at the Seattle Aquarium with the bird and mammal team (BAM) since 2007. I enjoy giving interpretive talks from inside the seal and sea otter exhibits as well as participating in basic husbandry practices for the birds and mammals. The aquarium’s mission, “Inspiring Conservation of our Marine Environment,” has greatly shaped my own goals in outreach and science education.

Northwest Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (NWSSMM)

Participants of the 2012 NWSSMM meeting in Vancouver, BC. Photo: D. Rosen

I have participated in meetings for this student group since I was an undergraduate. I first presented at the 2010 meeting in Seattle, WA and have also presented at the 2011 and 2012 meetings in Vancouver, BC. NWSSMM is a great resource for students to network with other students and researchers in the field of Marine Mammalogy. I have volunteered to host the 2013 meeting in Seattle and hope to increase undergraduate and high school student involvement. Because of the iconic status and popularity of marine mammals, NWSSMM is an ideal venue to engage students in science generally and encourage more advanced high school students to get involved in research.

Society for Undergraduate Resources in Fisheries (SURF) • President

I served as president of the undergraduate fisheries club at SAFS for two years (SURF), connecting fellow students with the greater community and providing outreach opportunities. I mentored new students and created activities to increase community resources for undergraduates. For broader outreach, I organized a concert series called, “Puget Sounds,” which raised over $2,000 for local non-profit research organizations and generated environmental awareness in the community.