Our next volunteer profile is Sabrina! Sabrina grew up in Jupiter, Florida, and now is a college student studying marine biology on the west coast of Florida.
Have you always been interested in sharks?
I have always been fascinated by sharks, but my intense passion for sharks took hold when I was 16
Other than researching and saving sharks, what are your favorite hobbies?
Outside of shark research, one of my main hobbies is scuba diving and other water sports. I am a big reader and I enjoy art (painting and drawing).
Why do you care about sharks?
I believe there is an elegance to the shark and what it represents. There is something so fascinating about how a particular species is molded by its environment and how it functions in that ecosystem has been streamlined over millennia to coexist in a delicate balance with other organisms.
Why do you like being part of ASC?
ASC applies research for conservation, which I believe is vital in a society with diminishing biodiversity. Personally, ASC has given me the opportunity to learn from scientists who have a lot of diverse experience in the field. They have guided me through the maze that is marine science and given me the confidence to continue my pursuit in elasmobranch science. Every person behind ASC cares about me as a person and wants to see me excel. They continue to help me, not because I am an intern, but because they truly want to see me flourish in the sciences.
What is your favorite shark and why?
Bull sharks are one of my favorite sharks because they are generally the most stigmatized species while being one of the most ecologically complex.
What shark would you like to see in the wild?
Were you ever scared of sharks?
Yes and no. As a surfer, when I was younger, I was mindful of the marine life that was below. However, I prefer to call it a healthy respect. I always acknowledged that sharks are an apex predator and I am in their domain.
Have you faced any challenges in your journey in shark and ocean conservation?
My greatest hardship I faced was before I became a part of ASC. I struggled to navigate the University setting as in, I lacked confidence and believed that there was one path towards achieving my goals, so I thought I was doing something wrong.
Regarding sharks and conservation, what would be your dream job?
I am immediately drawn to staying in research as my primary goal after undergrad and graduate school. However, I am also interested in traveling and working at wildlife sanctuaries as well.