Rachel Zuercher – Graduate Fellow 2014-15

2014ZuercherI was born and raised in South Dakota, far from any ocean.  In high school and before, I loved all my science classes, and preferred to spend time outside on the river.  However, I didn’t know much at all about the coasts.  I was very fortunate to meet scientists after high school that opened my eyes to the field of marine ecology, and since then I’ve had opportunities to SCUBA dive and work in marine conservation on islands all over the Pacific.

I now consider myself very lucky to be in Monterey Bay – an amazing place to study all things ocean.  At UC Santa Cruz, I study fish populations and ways that we can use fishery resources in a sustainable way. Though marine research is a lot of work, being in and around the ocean and studying fish is a great career.  I not only get to SCUBA dive and go fishing, I also get to work with fishermen and other people who use fisheries resources.  The goal of my current research is to understand how changes in ocean biology and climate influence fish growth, and how this leads to bigger or smaller fish populations.

I’m very excited to be able to spend time at Watsonville High School, talk to students about what life as a marine biologist is like, and learn from students about the ways you use and enjoy the ocean environment.  I’m really looking forward to seeing others get excited about science, the ocean and fish!Zuercher_Poster_thumb

Contact Rachel: rzuerche@ucsc.edu and Website