Hawai’i and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, 2017
NOAA’s Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center completed HICEAS, a survey of cetacean abundance and ecology in the U.S. oceanic territory around Hawai’i and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, in summer 2017. We observed and counted marine mammals along historical tracklines, and collected acoustic recordings, drone footage, tissue biopsies, and oceanographic data. I joined this cruise as a marine mammal observer and biopsier.
Southeast Alaska, 2016
In 2016 I joined NOAA’s Marine Mammal Laboratory on a cruise aimed at improving our understanding of harbor porpoise population structure along the Southeast Alaskan Peninsula. Because harbor porpoise are elusive and difficult to sample, we collected eDNA (water) samples from individual fluke prints, in order to extract and amplify DNA from their sloughed skin cells.
California Current Ecosystem, 2014-2015
I participated in NOAA‘s 2015 Collaborative Large Whale Survey (CLaWS),aimed at improving our understanding of gray whale stock structure in the eastern Pacific Ocean, as a marine mammal observer and biopsier. In 2014 I participated in the NOAA’s California Current Ecosystem Assessment Survey (CalCurCEAS) as an acoustic technician, where I worked with a team of acoustic technicians to collect and annotate continuous recordings during daylight hours.
Hawaiian Islands, 2012-2013
Between 2012 and 2013 I joined a long-term marine mammal monitoring and research project in the Hawaiian Islands run by the Cascadia Research Collective. Their work, which started in 2000, has been focused on assessing the population structure, abundance, movements and diving behavior of 17 species of Hawaiian odontocetes (toothed whales). I joined them to collect data for my PhD thesis, in which I examine the genetic and acoustic structure of pilot whales in the Hawaiian Islands.
Antarctic Peninsula, 2008-2010
As a biologist for NOAA’s Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division, I joined three annual research cruises in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. The cruises were designed to collect oceanographic and ecological data from the pelagic marine ecosystem in order to inform management of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. During these cruises, I collected, sorted and IDed zooplankton samples, collected and processed phytoplankton samples, measured water salinity values, and processed fur seal scats for diet analysis.