Where are you from, and what is your role in Extreme 2003?
A native of Chicago, Illinois, I now attend the University of Delaware College of Marine and Earth Studies (Lewes campus). During Extreme 2003, I will be the shipboard coordinator for the educational component. In this capacity, I will be a liaison to help more than 500 classrooms around the world go "to the depths of discovery" along with us.
What kinds of questions will you try to answer, and why?
I will be trying to answer various questions that I will receive from the participating students. Otherwise, I will be continually working to keep 6th–12th graders (and others) interested and well informed throughout the expedition. These duties will include posting pictures, videos, interviews, daily logs, and plenty of other "neat stuff" to the Web site.
Why is this research important? What are the benefits?
There is still so much to learn about the deep ocean, which covers much of the world and has an important role in our ecosystem. Some of the discoveries may prove to have several scientific, industrial, and medical applications. In addition, through this interactive venue, we are able to enlighten so many others who may never have the opportunity to explore this extreme environment firsthand.
What's your background and what lured you into marine science/education?
I grew up as an only child, so I found myself watching a lot of Discovery Channel and PBS. At a very young age, I became fascinated with water and enjoyed my many visits to Lake Michigan and the Shedd Aquarium. By 7th grade, I realized that the world was covered by water, and the idea of exploring it intrigued me. More specifically, I wanted to learn more about the organisms that lived in the water; I wanted to become a marine biologist. Consequently, I began participating in related programs/activities in Chicago and eventually went on to Brown University (Providence, RI) to pursue a degree in the field.