Irissa is excited to be working in the West Coast office this summer. She is a junior at the University of Washington majoring in marine biology and lives in Olympia. Irissa transferred to the University of Washington in the winter of 2020 after completing one year at the United States Coast Guard Academy. Among her many adventures while at the academy, she had the opportunity to apply her skills in nautical science when she, along with many of her classmates, sailed a three-masted vessel around Europe and across the Atlantic Ocean during the summer of 2019. This experience deepened her passion for marine environments and animals. Irissa’s interest in marine biology stems from her eight years as a flatwater sprint kayak racer. Year round, Irissa spent countless hours on the water training. Her efforts paid off when she won multiple national championships and competed at the Olympic Hopes Regatta in Europe as part of Team USA in both 2016 and 2017. One of her biggest takeaways from the sport however, was her love of marine life. She treasured watching the harbor seals and jellyfish on her daily paddles – occasionally highlighted by a spotting of a sea lion or whale. Irissa loves the rain, murder mysteries, running with her dog, doing yoga, exploring Washington through hiking, and spending time with her two sisters and friends.