When I was in high school I had no idea that I would one day spend my time in knee-high rubber boots trudging through a salt marsh studying plants! Biology was always my favorite subject and I loved being outdoors, but back then I had no idea that it was possible to combine these things into a career that was both enjoyable and challenging.
I studied a small community of plants that is almost entirely limited to the narrow area at the edge of tidal salt marshes. The goal of my research was to figure out what was causing this limitation and to identify ways to restore this declining community. This research not only allowed me to spend time outdoors, it also gave me the chance to help other scientists figure out how to protect a threatened plant community that is an important part of the salt marsh ecosystems of the Monterey Bay.
My interest in ecology has given me opportunities that I never knew were possible–from observing lizards in cloud forests in the Dominican Republic to monitoring cactus population dynamics in the Sonoran Desert. As a SCWIBLES fellow, I really enjoyed being able to not only share my experience and knowledge about the world around us, but also to show students how many opportunities there are to pursue fun and interesting scientific research projects.