I am passionate about public education and outreach, especially within local communities. During my MS program, I gave presentations on marine science careers at local NC middle schools and spoke with local people and managers about invasive lionfish during my Caribbean fieldwork. In Bonaire, I helped develop weekly activities for the STINAPA Junior Rangers, the island's conservation group for local children. I also assisted in the Junior Rangers' annual debate by helping develop a workshop series on shark conservation and judging the debate along with Angelo Villagomez from The PEW Foundation. While working in the Marshall Islands, I was invited to join the Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority (MIMRA) on a trip to three remote atolls to assist on coral reef surveys to support the Reimaanlok national resource management plan and also to help educate the local communities about their marine resources. I also provided statistical analysis training to MIMRA staff and served on task force groups focused on improving the collection, organization, and analysis of Reimaanlok coral reef survey data.
I believe that science communication skills are essential for an effective scientist. Throughout my MS program, I took multiple science communication courses as well as attended and led science communication workshops. In 2013, I co-founded UNdertheC blog with another UNC Marine Sciences graduate student with the purpose of making marine sciences interesting and accessible to a general audience. While at CIEE Bonaire, I gave public presentations on my undergraduate and graduate research. While working in the Marshall Islands, I helped organize the country's first National Oceans Symposium by reviewing program content and organization and I also organized the Poster Session that focused on student research. My students participated in the symposium through posters and presentations and I also presented an introduction to coral reef biology and ecology and the importance of coral reefs. I also organized CMI's first Marine Science Symposium to highlight the work of the marine science students and to celebrate the start of the new Marine Science Certificate Program.