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RESEARCH + OUTREACH

My Interests in Research

I have tons of interests in the biological sciences and how to communicate science effectively!

Right now, I am most interested in Marine Life and Birds!

 

Some goals for the future of my research experiences include:

  • Assist in ecology research or outreach/education programming surrounding Local PNW wildlife/marine life 

  • Launch my own ecology monitoring program on a local PNW species or species of concern

  • Work on the E/V Nautilus as a Life Sciences or Video Engineering Intern

  • At UW, work with COASST, the Behavioral Ecophysics Lab, or the Fish Collection!

  • Stay engaged with Puget Sound Underwater LIVE! As a Marine Science Interpreter and Scientific Advisor

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Stream Team Manager & Senior Scientific Advisor

PUGET SOUND LIVE!

In collaboration with Drew Collins from Made in Puget Sound, we are working to make the wonders of the Puget Sound and Salish Sea accessible to all with our live-streamed dive events!

 

My role in this project as Sr. Scientific Advisor is to engage with audience members and their questions while chatting back and forth with Drew as he dives. As the Stream Team Manager, I also manage on-deck interactions between our crew members to make sure all runs smoothly, as there are PLENTY of moving parts, cables, and electronics.

We are working to track our finds during our dives, Photo-ID all the critters we discover during our encounters, and work to implement water parameter measurements into our tracking to see how temperature, salinity, winds, tides, and currents fluctuate in the various regions of the Puget Sound.

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Remote Imagery Intern and Field Assistant

NOAA Marine Mammal Laboratory (MML/AFSC)

In collaboration with the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and NOAA's Marine Mammal Laboratory, I joined the Steller Sea Lion project during the summer of 2023 in the Aleutian Islands and back home in Seattle at the West Regional Office to work on everything Steller Sea Lion.

Aside from the field component of this position, my role was to manually review images from the camera stations (aka camera traps) along the Western Aleutian Island chain, and flag photos that contained a marked/branded animal with a special ID. 

Eventually, MML will compare how AI and Machine Learning compare to a human (me!) when it comes to identifying sea lions in these same exact pictures. This is an excellent test of reliability and Machine Learning training to make science a bit easier for folks who deal with lots of data and content.

In the field, we conducted UAS (drone) surveys, manual resights using binoculars and long-lens cameras, and maintenance of the remote imagery stations. In addition to these imagery-based projects, multiple days were dedicated to handling pups to collect biological samples, assess health conditions, and to brand the next generation of pups critical to the overall ongoing study. Learning to live off a research vessel was a blast and many more practical skills like skiff loading/unloading came in handy. It was truly an adventure of a lifetime!

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Research Assistant with Henry Art Gallery, USC, UBC Okanogan, and National Veterinary Institute (SVA)

CARE FOR THE STRANDED

In the summer of 2022, I served as a research assistant for the "Care for the Stranded" walkshop in collaboration with the Henry Art Gallery and Learning Endings. My role was to capture the happenings of Lincoln Park over a 3-month duration in the summer, specifically tracking marine mammal sightings and interactions with nearshore activity.

 

Aside from focusing on marine mammal interactions, I had to Photo-ID and dissect other marine ecological interactions occurring at the site and presented these findings to the lead team (Patty Chang and Aleksija and Astrida Neimanis) every month with a portfolio of photos and written reports. These efforts served to help them construct a culminating event in the following September for the public to engage with and learn from our work.

More information about this experience is available here on my UW Interdisciplinary honors Portfolio!

Care for the Stranded: A Shoreline Walkshop, a project of the Learning Endings collaboration, Lincoln Park, September 24, 2022. Photo: Jonathan Vanderweit.

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Research & Reach

What I look for in Research Experiences

The idea behind ScattrLab and my other research projects is that there is a huge potential for public engagement with the developing and end product. I want to make STEM easier for folks to engage with, and put the fun back into learning for people who miss the "Magic School Bus" excitement from their youth.

Curiosity, excitement, and wonder stick. Trying to remember information with little to no application or fun in the process, does not stick.

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I am keen to reframe the role that scientists have in our world. There is a notion that scientists either work "behind-the-scenes" or "in the spotlight" but I think we can certainly do both. Research is fruitless if you do not have the ability to communicate findings with the general public, policy-makers, and most importantly, the younger generations. 

 

Especially as a Filipina who moved to the states as a little girl, I hope to one day be an example of a woman in STEAM who can do both research and scicomm and hopefully inspire young girls that are interested in these fields to step and in explore to their hearts' content. You belong in this field!

To improve my outreach and education philosophy/skill set, I've worked with science communication projects for most of my time working in research, most recently is ScattrLab. The idea is to bring audiences near and far to the little-known sides of science and answer those science-y shower thoughts that didn't quite make it to the Google search bar.

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