Jessica graduated with a degree in evolutionary biology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. Since graduation she has worked in fisheries management on commercial fishing vessels in the Bering Sea, counted Steller sea lions from cliffs in the Aleutian Islands, tagged sea lions in the Galápagos and monk seals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and for four austral springs she lived in a retrofitted refrigerator container on the Antarctic sea ice near McMurdo Station. In Antarctica she worked on a long-term population study of Weddell seals and hopes to continue working in this ecosystem on predator-prey dynamics of the Ross Sea.
Over her years in the field working with various research teams, Jessica has gained a broad understanding of marine ecosystems and the controversies surrounding marine protected areas. This experience, in combination with her other field work, fostered a strong desire to become more involved in outreach. She believes that there needs to be more transparency between the scientist conducting research in the field and the interested public. To that end she has contributed video and photographic work to assist the projects she works with in their outreach goals. She has also been privileged to work with the BBC's Natural History Unit while filming for Frozen Planet in both Antarctica and Alaska. She currently lives in Friday Harbor, Washington with her husband and young daughter.
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