Mia DeNardi headshot

Mia DeNardi

Independent Contractor

Tell us about your work/research. What kinds of things do you do?

I specialize in geospatial and technical analysis.

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

I fell in love with the geography discipline after taking two courses (Political Science and Geography) in the same semester where I watched the same movie about banana farming. The way we discussed the relationship of space/place and why the people interacted with nature and the economy in the Geography course was so different than how we discussed the take-aways of the film in my Political Science course. I found my discipline that semester as I always was asking why and how people interacted with the space and the environment.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

A number of women in science and exploration have influenced me from a young age to explore and ask questions about why and how things work.

What element of your work/study do you think is the most fascinating?

Learning about new places I explore is always exciting for me. Whether it be on land or on the water, I love learning about the culture, geography, and natural environment of a new place.

 What other jobs led you to your current career?

I was first introduced to ocean exploration while working as a Geographer intern for the National Geographic Society during their Explorers' Summit. I never thought I would ever work in the field, but I continued to follow those explorers from afar as I continued my career as a GIS analyst.

What are your degrees and certifications?

Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Urban & Regional Planning -- Miami University 2010

Masters of Arts in Geography -- Ohio University 2012

What are your hobbies?

I love taking photos both on land and underwater, SCUBA diving, and exploring National Parks with friends.

How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program?

I grew my network of ocean exploration professionals after volunteering with NOAA while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?

I fell into this career by trying new experiences and learning new skills, even when I knew I would be put in a position outside my comfort zone. Technology is always changing, and it can be intimidating to jump into something new, but new technology is new to everyone! Even the experts and the leaders in any field.


Mia participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: