Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, I spent most of my time playing handball like most teenagers in Brooklyn. Although I studied science in high school, I had not heard of oceanography until I joined the Navy. I served aboard the submarine USS Greeneville as a Sonar Technician and was stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI and Portsmouth, NH. After 5 years of sailing the seas and listening to marine life, and an occasional ship, I returned to academia and received a B.Sc in Environmental Science at the City College of New York (CCNY). During my undergraduate studies, I interned at NOAA’s Kasitsna Bay Laboratory near Homer, Alaska as a NOAA Hollings scholar and investigated the variability in pH and nutrients in the local waters. After graduation, I worked as a research technician at CCNY and studied biases in ocean-atmosphere circulation models and the seasonal patterns of extreme precipitation in the New York region.
I am a PhD student working with Dr. Robert Sherrell. We are studying the use of fossilized deep sea corals as recorders of past ocean conditions such as temperature and nutrients. This information is stored in their skeletons and we obtain it using laser ablation. These corals are located in New Zealand at a depth and location that is important for understanding past climate changes. We are also collaborating with scientists in Spain who are growing these corals in specific conditions so that we can better learn about how they record their environment. Our goals are to improve our understanding of the information in the skeletons and our methods of obtaining it, and to understand the water conditions of the past 40,000 years.