Tell us about your work/research. What kinds of things do you do?
I am enrolled as a Marine Science student in the American Samoa Community College. Since I started studying in this field, I am most likely interested in learning coral reefs and especially watching documentaries of new discovered species of coral found in the deep. I really enjoy doing surveys in the reef through snorkeling and understand its condition and how it benefits and impact the marine organisms. So when I learn something new, I could not stop myself from wanting to continue doing more surveys and how I can help reduce a problem.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
I had never thought of ending up being a Marine Science student. Two months ago, I was introduced to Quantitative Underwater Ecological Survey (QUEST). I was able to learn the different methods of surveying and the most fun part is learning the scientific names of marine organisms.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
My Marine Science instructor was always pushing me to apply to every internship programs and conferences. It was very encouraging seeing amazing work other biologists do and especially submersibles diving the deep. This made want to continue on with my major so that one day I will be able to be like other scientists.
What element of your work/study do you think is the most fascinating?
Because I am a new student, the most fascinating thing I have done since I started was surveying underwater on a different island. This island is very remote and it feels like everything is natural with not so much construction. The water was clean and it is very different from where I come from.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
Helping my instructor with water sampling around Tutuila island and helping high school students with their science projects convinced me to become a scientist one day. My participation is always encouraging and telling me that I should stay with Marine Science.
What are your degrees and certifications?
Associates of Science in Marine Science (Spring 2020)
What are your hobbies?
I love snorkeling and do community outreach relating to marine science.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?
If you want to understand more about the reality of underwater, then marine science is the right place for you. Getting involved will introduce you to many other amazing careers relating to marine science that you may never have imagined exist.
How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?
The National Marine Sanctuary announced an opportunity for a student to work on Nautilus for this expedition and I applied for it.