What are some of the obstacles you’ve encountered while pursuing this career?

Career-wise, I did encounter a few people who told me I would never find a paying job in this profession … i.e., the study of marine mammals. But I knew what I wanted to do and what my passion was and thus I pursued it. I strongly believe that a person should find their passion, the thing that truly makes them happy, and then pursue it. Life is too short to be unhappy. I was lucky because my parents taught my sisters and me to be independent and to do our best in everything. They were exceptionally supportive. So, while my profession is male-dominated primarily, I never let that stand in my way. I know what my capabilities are and do not let others dictate to me what I can or should do. This can be difficult to follow at times but the rewards are far-reaching. I am also happy to say there are several women studying marine mammals with higher degrees (Ph.D.s and M.S.s). Collaboration is the name of the game in any career, in my opinion, to succeed and achieve the best results.