My name is Ashley and I am a Fall 2020 senior at The Evergreen State College pursuing my Bachelor’s of Science. I was born and raised in Melbourne Beach, Florida where I lived between a river and the sea. There is something to be said of growing up by the sea. It cultivates a deep-seeded awareness for the colossal blue, a knowledge of tides, a taste for salt, an eye for brewing storms, and a respect for the life that dwells seen and unseen beneath the waves. For those born close to shorelines, awareness of its exceptionality and value come as natural as breathing. As far back as I can recall, the ocean has been a source of both academic and artistic inspiration for me. It is the sea that introduced me to the concept of connectivity by luring me in with its unique ecosystems and organisms. My seaside life established my academic focus in marine ecology with a particular fascination for food webs and keystone species. When I graduate from Evergreen it will be with an emphasis in marine ecology and shark biology. With my SCUBA certification, artistic mind, and passion for the ocean I hope to build a career around elasmobranch conservation, advocacy, and research as well as coral reef restoration. Working with Cascadia Research has been a wonderful opportunity and offers the experiences of both technical and physical aspects of marine animal research. Thus far interning with the Hawai’i office has been a rewarding and exciting endeavor and I look forward to the rest of my internship and the possibilities that may arise from it!