Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Secret of the Sea"
Me as a Young Girl Exploring Nature With My Dad
Since I was a little girl, I have had a love of nature and felt a profound connection with living things. As a young girl in California, my dad took me into the woods to collect beetles, bugs, and butterflies, and to identify plants and other creatures. He took me to the tide pools where I was enamored with nudibranchs, anemones, and all other colorful marine life. As I grew up and we moved away from California, I spent less time in nature, but I always continued to be an "animal person." Every time I snuggled with a dog or rode a horse, I always felt a connection with animals. At the same time, as I grew up, I developed a love for photography and art, roaming around Janesville taking pictures in Rotary Gardens or in my backyard.
I majored in zoology at University of Wisconsin, working in Prof. Charles Snowdon's lab with cotton-top tamarins. While I originally thought I would become a primatologist, I eventually decided it wasn't for me. While I loved working with the monkeys and I was stimulated by the science, I ultimately felt lab work was too isolating. Thinking it would be a good way to use my science background while also working with people, I went to law school, hoping to pursue a career in patent law. I succeeded in becoming a patent litigator and did quite well, but I became less connected with animals and nature.
In 2013, I went with a friend to Belize, and she convinced me to try a Discover SCUBA course. As I descended, I was terrified. But that fear was quickly replaced with awe as I became surrounded by marine life and coral reefs. After that, I developed nothing less than an obsession with scuba diving. I never felt more at peace than when I was diving, and it became my primary hobby and escape from my professional life.
After 9 years in the law, I have decided that it is time to follow my passions while trying to make a difference in the world. I will leave my job as a litigator this spring, and in June 2017 I will depart for an adventure traveling, diving, and exploring the world. I'll document as much as I can through photos, and will share my experiences on this site. I'm also hoping to do some volunteering during that year. After a year of exploring the world, I plan to pursue a new career in marine conservation and policy. While I don't know exactly where this will lead, I am tremendously excited about it. I hope that I can use my skills as a litigator to advocate for the environment and make a difference in the world. I am looking forward to exploring the world and myself, and I hope you enjoy joining me on this adventure.