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My name is Samantha-Lynn Martinez, and I am a marine biology and ecology, evolution, and conservation biology student at the University of Washington. As a part of my Interdisciplinary Honors program at UW, I've crafted this portfolio capturing the highs and lows of my undergraduate studies across the years.

If there is one thing I've taken away from this experience, it's that everything...

and I mean absolutely everything... are closer than they appear.

Doesn't that phrase sound familiar?

Personal Statemet

In the fall of 2023, I sat in the passenger seat of my friends car, zipping down a scenic highway past the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. We had the windows down, blasting some of our favorite road trip tunes (which happened to be a remix of Baby Shark at the time), and it felt perfect. This was our celebration after a whirlwind week at the "Oscars of Wildlife Film" in Jackson Hole, and I was at peace, and completely content with myself and my settings for the first time in a very long time.


With my camera against the window pane, I aimed it directly into the side mirror and when I peeked into the viewfinder, the words "CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR" took over the top third of my frame.


A simple snippet from the phrase "OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR" would suddenly turn into much more than just a safety warning for driving.

This was the time I realized that I was exactly where I wanted to be, just a few years ago. My dreams were here and realized, occurring much sooner than I had ever expected. My friends in the car were just strangers five days ago, yet we shared intimate stories and stargazed into the late night between moments of film festival chaos. My next event in Bend, Oregon, was just one day away, even though I felt I'd have much more time than I really did. And now, I'm faced with the discovery that I am graduating at the end of 2024, rather than Spring of 2025. 

As a student and as a young adult, I've been coping with this "closer than they appear" concept for much longer tha I'd like to admit. But it is only when I took a second to look backwards and reflect at this moment in time, that it all made sense.

So, this is my story. From a very nervous 18-year old learning the ropes of independence to a now 21-year old wrapping up just a few loose ends before fledging the nest. I hope this page brings you insight into my learning journey, skills, and aspirations, and that it can be a resource of comfort, or a testament of tenacity for whoever stumbles across it.

Year View

This portfolio is organized by academic year and quarter. Click on a year title label to view a mini bio section that outlines my preliminary plans for the start of that year (and reflection if it has already concluded), followed by three buttons below representing the three quarters of the academic year (and summers if applicable).


(Surprises to Academic Pathway)


There might be something just out of view that might swoop in at the perfect time and change the trajectory of your journey.

(Major Classes, Personal Benchmarks, Events)


Fuel up, access resources, and learn along the way.

(Out-of-Class Professional Development and Research)

Often hard to learn and practice, maintaining parallels between academic and professional goals is intense.

(Present and Future plans)


Even though there is never a straight path to where you want to go, it's reassuring to think about the immediate steps ahead.

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