Tell us about your work/ research. What kinds of things do you do?
I study. And then study some more. I'm working towards a computer engineering degree and I am slowly making traction. But now there is less road ahead of me than there is behind me and that's pretty exciting.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
I joined a robotics club at my community college. They participated in the MATE International Competitions where schools would build ROVs and compete with other schools around the world. It opened my eyes to the possibility of a career in engineering. Because of this, I am here aboard the Nautilus now.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
When I was growing up and even to this day, my aunt understood the value of education and she always pushed me and encouraged me to be better. I'll always be thankful for her.
What element of your work/ study do you think is the most fascinating?
Hands down the most exciting thing I've done was fly ROV Hercules right up against a hydro-thermal vent in the Galapagos and slurp up crabs all in the name science. That was incredible (and fun).
How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program?
I started on the Nautilus as an intern in 2013. I was very excited when I was selected. I started my internship in Puerto Rico and we continued exploring down into the Caribbean Sea. Each year I have come back learning more and more. I became an Argus pilot and then worked my skill up until becoming a Hercules pilot.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
It's been an interesting path so far. I didn't actually know I loved the ocean until I started with Nautilus. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that my time on Nautilus has changed my career goals. Engineering and the ocean just seem to be a perfect match for me.
What are your degrees and certifications?
I am currently an undergraduate at California State University Long Beach pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. I studied first at Long Beach City College.
What are your hobbies?
I have been an artist all my life. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a famous artist and live the bohemian artist life. Well it didn't take long for reality to set it. So I decided to pursue my engineering interest. As luck would have it, a great deal of my art background has helped me in my engineering career. But every now and then, when I have time, I like to pick up my pencil and draw just for fun.
What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?
If you want to be out here too, but choose not to pursue it because of lack of skill, knowledge, education, or you feel you're too old, then you might regret it. Skills can be learned, knowledge will be shared, education is available and age will continue counting up regardless of inaction. So reach out and find something that will point you in the right direction. For me it was a robotics club at my community college. Find your starting point to don't look back. No regrets.
"I am eager to be exploring the ocean off my home state of California."