I spent most of my life in, on or under the water, beginning with my childhood in San Diego, CA. My connection with the ocean inspired my early career in marine biology in California and Hawai‘i; I have also conducted field work in the Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Panama, the Galápagos, and Antarctica. This work focused on how we measure environmental health, but underscored issues in resource management that are at the heart of environmental challenges. With this in mind, I moved to Washington, DC and worked in the US Congress to understand and promote an ocean policy agenda; there I witnessed firsthand when and how science, politics, and people affect the policy process.
I returned to California and academia to build on this experience. In my research, I examine relationships between coastal resources and coastal societies in the context of resource management in a changing environment. I combine natural science, social science, and citizen science to advance the theory and practice of coastal management through engagement with coastal resource user communities.