It takes a team of people to successfully conduct scientific research!

Here we have highlighted a few professionals currently working to support research at sea. Learn about their jobs, their journeys, their advice, and explore other resources that may inspire you to pursue a marine-related career as well!


Emily Shimada, Marine Technician

MY JOB is challenging but very rewarding! Marine technicians are troubleshooters, supporting all aspects of science missions on research vessels. I serve as the go-between for scientists and the ship’s crew and am out on deck supervising the deployment and retrieval of scientific equipment. I also serve as the IT and network specialist, electronics technician, and fabricator, but I am also responsible for safety and quality checks for all underway systems.

MY JOURNEY began with a love of being out at sea combined with a growing interest in understanding
systems and troubleshooting. I went back to school as an older student and graduated from Cal Maritime as a marine engineer, but only found true satisfaction through the collaborative environment on research vessels and by supporting scientists and their diverse missions.

MY ADVICE is to explore opportunities by visiting various university and research vessel websites. Volunteer and apply for a variety of internships and take classes in computer science, electronics and manufacturing. Seek out opportunities to get out on boats where you can gain experience in rigging and line handling and discover if working on ships is something you enjoy!

Jonathan Fram, Project Manager

MY JOB is to make sure that the team of scientists has what they need to do their work and succeed. I make sure that they have the materials they need, when they need them and are trained to use them properly.

MY JOURNEY included teaching high school science after completing my undergraduate degree, then pursuing a Masters and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkley. Now, in this position, like when I was a teacher, it’s important for me to communicate to people in a way that they understand. A student in a classroom earns an A if they get a 99%, but a device that goes in the ocean assembled 99% correctly will fail, so I organize our team so that we can deploy devices that are 100% ready.

MY ADVICE is to do as much math, science and programming as you can so you have more options later on. You might not be inspired by one thing yet, but having the background to support your passion once you find it will make it so much easier once that moment comes.

Jami Ivory, Research Assistant

MY JOB is a mix of both work onshore and at sea. On the shore, I work in the laboratory using a microscope to count and identify larval fish and the plankton that they feed on. Occasionally I work in the field SCUBA diving to sample juvenile fishes. At sea, I set up and manage large electronic sampling equipment, troubleshoot equipment failure, and operate heavy machinery to lift the sampling equipment into and out
of the water.

MY JOURNEY started as an undergraduate at Humboldt State University in California where I studied Marine Biology. From there, I studied zooplankton as a graduate student at the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science and that’s where I had an opportunity to work at sea for the first time.

MY ADVICE is to gain as much work experience as possible early and stay open-minded. Start as a volunteer, and you can use the experience gained to move to paid internships and, later, to permanent positions. You learn a lot in your classes, but there’s so much that cannot be taught in a classroom about the subject matter and about yourself that you can only learn from first-hand experiences.


Learn about other careers in marine science

The Careers-in-Science Webinar series is a way to explore career opportunities in marine science. Below are recorded webinars with 20+ hours of professionals discussing their paths to their careers in marine science. You can also learn more about what a future in marine science looks like by participating in Career Day.

Careers in Science Webinars

Jenna Sullivan-Stack monitoring the tide pool critters found along the Oregon Coast

Jenna Sullivan-Stack
Post-Doctoral Scholar
Marine Ecology and Conservation
Department of Integrative Biology
Oregon State University (OSU)

View Jenna's Presentation Now!


Jenna Sullivan-Stack is a postdoctoral scholar in Integrative Biology at OSU. Jenna studies the impact of climate change and disease on sea stars and other organisms that live in coastal tide pools. Her research also helps connect science with policymakers that are making decisions on ocean protection. If you want to work with sea stars, sea urchins, sea anemones and more - be sure to join us and find out how Jenna got to where she is today.

Webinar recording notes: During Jenna's presentation, we discussed how students can get involved and volunteer to assist with rocky shore (tide pool) data collection efforts along the Oregon Coast. Be sure to check out the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) website for additional information about student mentorship and training opportunities.

Erin Peck, OSU Graduate student, carries a sediment core through the salt marsh

Erin Peck
Graduate Student - Salt Marshes, Geology
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University (OSU)

View Erin's Presentation Now!

One consequence of climate change is rising seas, which threaten coastal habitats like salt marshes. Hear from Erin Peck how she measures how salt marshes grow and bury carbon in an effort to stay above the water and protect our coastal communities. As an exciting bonus, sometimes she finds 300 year old tsunami sand from the last major Oregon earthquake. Join us and find out how!

Webinar recording notes: During Erin's presentation - she showed a video of her in the salt marsh with an OSU graduate level class (Cascadia Field Course). If you are interested in pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree from OSU's College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS), be sure to check out the specific degree programs and the variety experiential learning opportunities (including field courses) that CEOAS has to offer!

Megan Shapiro, NOAA Survey Tech checks out a smooth lumpsucker aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson.

Megan Shapiro
Survey Technician
NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

View Megan's Presentation Now!

Hear from Megan Shapiro, who works as a survey technician aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson. She will share how she assists with fishery research, operates monitoring instruments, records data, assists with the deploying research equipment, and more! If you are interested in a future job that enables you to spend time at sea, conduct research, troubleshoot equipment, instruments, and more - be sure to join us!

George Waldbusser investigating oysters on a mudflat

Dr. George Waldbusser
Professor/Researcher - Biogeochemistry
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University

View George's Presentation Now!


Hear from Dr. George Waldbusser, as he discusses his career pathway from a solid "B" high school student to tenure track faculty at OSU. George works on research ranging from estuarine biogeochemistry to invertebrate responses to climate change. He has also worked regularly with coastal stakeholders and has made multiple trips to Washington DC to discuss the value and importance of research in making policy decisions. George will discuss what it means to be an active researcher, educator and science communicator in a rapidly changing world with differing views of science. 

Megan Considine poses at Seal Rock, Oregon (Photo Courtesy of Megan Considine)Megan Considine
Graduate Student - Invasive Species
Marine Resource Management
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University (OSU)

View Megan's Presentation Now!

 Join us and hear from Megan Considine, a master’s student in the Marine Resource Management Program at Oregon State University studying the detection and prevention of an invasive mud blister worm that causes marketing challenges for commercial oyster farms. She will be talking about her background growing up on the Chesapeake Bay, her passion for oyster restoration, and her current endeavors as a graduate student at OSU.

Anna Bolm aboard a research vessel at sunset (Photo Courtesy of Anna Bolm)

Anna Bolm
Graduate Student - Microplastics and Zooplankton
Department of Fish and Wildlife
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Oregon State University (OSU)

View Anna's Presentation Now!


Hear from Anna Bolm, a master's student at Oregon State University researching microplastics in micro-critters. Find out how a Midwestern art student ended up 200 miles offshore on a research cruise and eventually collecting trash underwater!

James Roubal
Program Coordinator
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
& Washington CoastSavers

View James' Presentation Now!

Hear from James Roubal who is the Program Coordinator for Washington CoastSavers and the Olympic Coast chapter of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. He will share how growing up on the shores of Lake Eerie, he discovered the natural and cultural riches of the Great Lakes and other aquatic habitats. His passion fueled his career, as he now coordinates the largest single day beach cleanup in Washington. He will also share about his previous experiences organizing environmental stewardship and volunteer programs. If you are interested in a future job in marine conservation, be sure to join us!

Kelsey Lane sailing at sunset (Photo Courtesy of Kelsey Lane)Kelsey Lane
Graduate Student
Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University

View Kelsey's Presentation Now!

Kelsey Lane studied geology and biology in college and couldn't decide what she wanted to focus on. It wasn’t until she did a study abroad program on a sailboat that she realized that studying oceanography allowed her to combine her passions for geology, biology and spending time at sea. Now, she is a graduate student at Oregon State University, researching foraminifera, a type of tiny plankton you study under a microscope that tells big stories about climate. Want to learn more about her research now? Be sure to check out the article, “Signs of a Changing Ocean” from OSU’s Terra Magazine and learn how a “sailor turned scientist!”

Cheryl Strong, Wildlife Biologist with US Fish and Wildlife Service

Cheryl Strong
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
US Fish and Wildlife Service

View Cheryl's Presentation Now!

If you want to work with fish or wildlife in the future - this is the webinar for you! Hear from Cheryl Strong, a wildlife biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service working with endangered species along the Oregon coast, including the Western snowy plover. Cheryl will talk about her career path in becoming a wildlife biologist, what cool animals she has been able to see or handle in person, and what it's like to work for the federal government. She really enjoys training the next generation of scientists as well as handling birds with sharp talons.

Jennifer Krajcik holding a coho salmon

Jennifer Krajcik
Fish Hatchery Manager
Oregon Hatchery Research Center
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

View Jen's Presentation Now!

Jennifer Krajcik manages the  Oregon Hatchery Research Center located in Alsea, Oregon. Learn about the facility, what it’s like to culture salmon, the positions needed for center function, and the different research questions Jen and her staff are working to answer using cultured salmon.

Saskia Madlener

Saskia Madlener
Science Documentary Producer
Oregon State Media Productions
Oregon State University

View Saskia's Presentation Now!

Hear from Saskia Madlener, works as a science video and film producer. She will share how she combined her passion for science and film as she followed researchers to Greenland to shoot and produce a short documentary for her Master’s thesis. She then spent years traveling all over the world to produce videos for scientists and research institutions. Want to learn more? Saskia is now the co-director of The Second Warning, a documentary about a scientist turned advocate in the face of climate change - be sure to check it out!

Alexandra Simpson
Alexandra Simpson
Graduate Student, Coastal and Ocean Engineering
College of Engineering
Oregon State University

View Alexandra's Presentation Now!

Alexandra Simpson is a coastal and ocean engineering graduate student at OSU’s College of Engineering. For her research, she uses drones and X-band radar to learn more about coastal phenomena, such as rip currents, surface waves, internal waves and tidal fronts. Alexandra’s research was also recently featured in a web story, “Eyes from the Sky.

Selene FregosiDr. Selene Fregosi
Postdoctoral Researcher, Bioacoustics
Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies
Oregon State University/NOAA PMEL

View Selene's Presentation Now!

Hear from Dr. Selene Fregosi, a marine mammal acoustician, who uses sound to study marine life. She will share how and why scientists use acoustics to study whales, some of the cool technologies she uses to listen to the ocean, and why noise pollution is a conservation concern. Tune in to hear some unique marine mammals sounds! 

Victoria Quennessen, graduate student at Oregon State University

Victoria Quennessen
Graduate Student, Fisheries Science
Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station
Oregon State University

View Victoria's Presentation Now!

Victoria Quennessen is a graduate student in Fisheries Science at Oregon State University (OSU) who is currently working to develop mathematical and computational tools to help address fisheries management and sea turtle survival in the face of climate change. She will discuss her path in marine science, including her undergraduate experience, what it’s like to work in a lab, and her experience as a first-generation graduate student.

Clara BirdClara Bird
Graduate Student
Marine Mammal Institute
Oregon State University

View Clara's Talk Now!

Hear from Clara Bird, a graduate student in the Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna (GEMM) Lab at OSU where she is using drone footage to study the body condition and behavioral ecology of gray whales. She has also used drones to study Adelie penguins, humpback and minke whales off of the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Also, check out the GEMM Lab website to learn more about the research team and their projects and read their blog!

Andrew ThurberDr. Andrew Thurber
Associate Professor/Researcher
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University


Dr. Andrew Thurber, an Associate Professor and researcher with OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. He will share how the deep sea off Oregon and Washington is home to many different habitats, including incredible biodiversity at habitats known as methane seeps. He and his team have recently discovered thousands off of our coast and are using remotely operated vehicles (submarines) to sample them to try and understand how they fit into our coastal ocean and society. 

Want to learn more now? Read more about how Dr. Thurber was part of a team of scientists who discovered the first active methane seep in Antarctica in this OSU news article and watch the sampling of methane seeps first-hand via footage from Nautilus live.

Listen to Maureen and Brendan's talk now!

Maureen Walczak

Dr. Maureen (Mo) Walczak
Assistant Professor (Senior Research)
Geology and Geophysics
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University

Brendan Reilly


Dr. Brendan Reilly
Post Doctoral Scholar
Geosciences Research Division
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
UC San Diego


We have one more webinar to bring to you before summer really hits! Join us and hear from researchers, Maureen Walczak and Brendan Reilly, who are gearing up to head out on an upcoming R/V Oceanus expedition this July. They will be collecting sediment cores from deep in the ocean to gain prehistoric information about the marine environment. Learning from the past can help researchers understand the causes of different environmental phenomena occurring today, including The Blob, low oxygen events impacting the Oregon Dungeness crab fishery, mountain glacier melting, and more. Come learn about their research so you can follow along with their progress during their expedition! 

Want to learn more now? Check out more information about the research cruise plans and how you can follow along, R/V Oceanus, and Maureen Walczak’s research ahead of time!

The webinar will last about 45 minutes and will be streamed via ZOOM Webinar with moderated questions and answers. The webinar will be recorded and posted to this website afterward.

Listen to Tim and Michael's talk now!

Aquatic veterinarian Dr. Tim Miller-MorganDr. Tim Miller-Morgan
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Certified Aquatic Veterinarian (CertAqV)
Lead, Aquatic Animal Health Program
Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC)
Oregon Sea Grant
Oregon State University (OSU)


Michael Moses

Michael Moses
Rocky Shores Coordinator
Oregon Coastal Management Program
Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development

Hear from Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan who is Oregon Sea Grant’s Aquatic Animal Veterinarian and leads the Aquatic Animal Health Program at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC). While Dr. Tim is involved in many projects, his primary focus is on the medical health and management of fish, sharks, and invertebrates at HMSC and beyond. He will also share highlights from his annual expeditions to the Rio Negro in the Amazon Basin where he has been working with local fishing communities involved in the sustainable aquarium fish trade. 

Then, hear from Michael Moses who serves as the Rocky Shore Coordinator at the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. He will discuss a variety of his marine science-focused work, from working at sea to slogging through tidal mudflats to conducting laboratory analyses and crafting science policy. He will also highlight some of his work on ocean acidification – how it works, the ways it impacts habitats, communities, and organisms, and what we might be able to do about it. So, for those of you who had requested to hear from someone who has done work in ocean acidification – this is the webinar for you!

Want to learn more? Be sure to check out this Project Piaba movie and view a variety of videos taken during previous expeditions. 

Listen to Dorthy and Briana's talks now!

Dorothy Horn


Dorothy Horn
Graduate Student
Environmental Science and Management Department
Portland State University



Briana Goodwin


Briana Goodwin
Oregon Field Manager
Surfrider Foundation



For all the participants requesting to hear about marine debris and plastics in the ocean – this is the webinar for you! Hear from Dorothy Horn, a graduate student at Portland State University, who is conducting research on plastics in our oceans and how it affects the organisms that live close to the shore. She will also share her experiences leading up to graduate school, including her time spent in the U.S. Marine Corps, time spent working with shore birds, and more! Then hear from Briana Goodwin who works with Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on ocean conservation efforts. She will share how she partners with Surfrider staff, volunteers, along with other ocean advocates, on numerous marine conservation projects in Oregon, including the development of the Oregon Marine Debris Action Plan. For those of you interested in learning more about what it is like to work for a non-profit organization actively working to protect the ocean, beaches, and waves that we enjoy, be sure to join us!

Excited to learn more now? Be sure to check out an article from January 2020 featuring Dorothy’s research in The Astorian: “Researchers examine impacts of plastic on mole crabs: Health of crabs an important indicator.” Also learn more about Surfrider Foundation's efforts to fight plastic pollution via their blog

Listen to Erica and Alexa's talks now!

Erica Fruh


Erica Fruh
Fisheries Biologist
Northwest Fisheries Science Center
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


Alexa Kownacki

Alexa Kownacki
Graduate Student
Fisheries and Wildlife
Oregon State University (OSU)


Join us and hear from Erica Fruh who works as a fisheries biologist for the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center. She will share how she and her team use Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) to capture footage from not so easily accessible places during world-wide research cruises. After the footage is collected, it’s Erica’s job to identify the species and habitats from images collected. She and her team have taken the AUV to American Samoa, Guam, Canada, up and down the US West Coast, and more! Then, hear from Alexa Kownacki who is a graduate student in Fisheries and Wildlife at OSU studying marine mammal ecology. Through her research, she is trying to understand the population health and habitat use patterns of common bottle-nose dolphins off of California. She will also share her experiences exploring clinical, laboratory, and field research over the years leading up to graduate school. 

You can read more about Erica’s Fall 2019 expedition aboard NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker where they explored the deep sea along the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts. They were able to survey deep-sea corals, sponges, and fish habitat!

Listen to Toby and Ashley's talks now!

Toby Harbison

Toby Harbison
Graduate Student
Marine Resource Management 
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University


Ashley Hann

Ashley Hann
Graduate Student
Marine Resource Management 
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University


This webinar will feature two graduate students from the Marine Resource Management graduate program within the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. First, Toby Harbison will tell you how her research takes her out on boats so she can answer questions about Dungeness crabs, a critical Oregon fishery. She will also share her pursuits of science and education leading up to graduate school, including SCUBA diving with tiger sharks, kayaking in front of glaciers in Alaska, confronting grizzly bears on a 100-mile trek through the mountains, and more! Then, you will hear from Ashley Hann who will discuss her recent fieldwork adventures at Palmer Station, a research station located in Antarctica! She and her team constructed an ocean observing system to get a closer look of what may be causing biological hotspots along the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Whether you are interested in being a biologist, physicist, chemist, carpenter, chef, or mechanic, all roles were essential to conducting the research in a very remote location. 

Learn more about Ashley’s research now! She and her team maintained a blog that outlines data activities and additional project details.

Listen to Michelle and Scott's talks now!

Michelle Levano


LTJG Michelle Levano
NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)



Scott Heppell


Dr. Scott Heppell
Associate Professor
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Oregon State University



Hear from Lieutenant (junior grade) Michelle Levano of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps). She will tell you how you can combine a love for science with uniformed service. Learn about how NOAA Corps Officers are uniquely capable of leading some of NOAA's most important initiatives. Then, hear from OSU’s, Dr. Scott Heppell, and learn about the Grouper Moon project, an effort to save the Critically Endangered Nassau Grouper. He will discuss a real-life marine conservation story about how two decades of continued action in the Cayman Islands have recovered a depleted fish population essential to Caribbean coral reefs and culture. 

Want to learn more now? Be sure to check out additional information and videos provided on the NOAA Corp website. Watch Grouper’s Last Stand to set the stage for Dr. Heppell's conservation success story!

Listen to Shea and Alissa's talks now!

Shea Steingass stands on a boat in Resurrection Bay, Alaska.



Dr. Shea Steingass
Marine Mammal Program Leader
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife



Ali Johnson stands on a boat with a glacier in the background.


Alissa Johnson
Chief Hydrographic Survey Technician
NOAA Ship Fairweather
Marine Operations Center - Pacific



Hear from Dr. Shea Steingass who leads marine mammal research, primarily focusing on seal and sea lion (pinniped) populations in Oregon. She will share why seal whiskers can tell us how animals live, give insight on what can be learned about pinniped diets by analyzing their scat (poop!), and more. Then, hear from Ali Johnson who works as a Chief Hydrographic Survey Technician aboard the NOAA Ship Fairweather. She will be talking about how her team uses sound to paint an image of the seafloor and determine depth. She will review the types of information needed to be able to effectively use the soundings she records and tell us how she knows when dolphins are nearby without looking out the window.

Get excited about their work! Check out video footage taken during an aerial photographic survey of Oregon’s pinniped populations. Shea will be participating in these surveys for the first time this June! Learn more about hydrography and the benefits of being part of a NOAA hydrographic survey project.

Listen to Jami and Taylor's talks now!
Jami Ivory


Jami Ivory 
Research Assistant
Plankton Ecology Lab, Hatfield Marine Science Center
Oregon State University


Taylor Chapple


Dr. Taylor Chapple
Assistant Professor
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Oregon State University



Join us and learn about the critters that form the base of the food chain and what it's like to study them. I bet you didn't know studying plankton can take you aboard a research vessel to exotic places like Antarctica? Come hear Jami Ivory discuss the adventures of a plankton researcher. Also hear from OSU's resident "Shark Guy" as he shares what it's like to study to behavior and movements of sharks using telemetry and biologging. Taylor is also committed to bridging the gap between science and the public through outreach and education.

Listen to Amanda and Kristin's talks now!

Amanda Gladics


Amanda Gladics
Coastal Fisheries Extension Faculty
Oregon Sea Grant
Oregon State University 


Kristin Beem

Kristin Beem
Marine Technician
Marine Operations
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University


Hear from Oregon Sea Grant's Amanda Gladics as she shares about how she provides community education programs related to commercial fisheries that foster sustainability of fishery resources. She has taught consumers how to buy seafood directly from fishermen and processors, and she has worked with fishermen to prevent whales from becoming entangled in gear. Then hear from Kristin Beem, a marine technician working for Oregon State University (OSU) that sails both on the OSU R/V Oceanus and the USCG Ice Breaker Healy providing technical support to scientists at sea in the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic. She spends about 120 days a year out on the research ships fixing the internet, operating sonars, troubleshooting electronics, and deploying oceanographic instruments. 

Check out videos about how Amanda is working to promote the purchasing of local sustainable seafood through her Shop at the Dock program and is collaboratively working to ensure fishermen safety at sea through specifically tailored Fisherman's First Aid and Safety Trainings. Then imagine yourself as an OSU student in Ocean Sciences as you watch a video of OSU undergraduates at sea aboard the R/V Sikuliaq. See if you can spot Kristin helping the students!