As a native Washingtonian, being outdoors always sparked my curiosity and passion for knowledge. Whether I was summiting Mount Si with my family, climbing a cedar tree in my back yard, or sketching marine life near the beach, the Pacific Northwest has provided me with endless inspiration. I could make animal sounds before I could form words, as I did not use verbal language until I was five. When I was 10, I had a six-hundred-page animal encyclopedia memorized front to back. My interest in marine mammals first sparked when I watched Free Willy as a child and as a result started to read about orcas. I also was obsessed about Meerkat Manor until 2011, when a close friend of our family introduced Sea Shepard Conservation Society to me. My passion for the ocean and its creatures exploded after that. I now read and journal daily and absorb any detail I can find regarding whales and their lives. Since 2014, I have been keeping track of the whales in the Puget Sound daily through Orca Network and the Center for Whale Research. I also studied Salish art and culture for a year, in which my first prints and woodwork pieces from this program focused on orcas. I am currently a senior undergraduate at the Evergreen State College. I will earn a BA/BS in spring 2019. My main focus is marine biology and visual arts. It has been my dream to work with marine mammals and researchers, so naturally, when I heard about Cascadia Research right here in Olympia, I lit up! I’m looking forward to learning more about photo identifying baleen whales, helping with whale watching tours and necropsies out in the field, and absorbing as much as I can from the pros here at Cascadia.