The Beginning

24 10 2012

I’m new to the whole blogging thing, but aim to do it justice, so I thought I would start where all logical things must start: the beginning…

Killer whale in San Juan Islands, Washington (B. Blaud)


I promise to keep the background brief, so stay with me.  I have been passionate about marine biology for as long as I can remember – my grandparents said it was impossible to drag me from the beluga exhibit at the aquarium when I was three, I fell in love with killer whales while camping on San Juan Island when I was four, became a proficient beach comber in Golden Gardens at six, and that all led me to the career choice to become a marine biologist at age eight.


After I earned my bachelors degree in marine biology from the University of Washington, I wanted to work in the field for a while.  I became a fish biologist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.  Although I was working on some incredibly wonderful, relevant projects implementing policy to protect our endangered salmonids, I missed the research.  There’s something incredibly sexy about developing a question, coming up with a plan of action and following it through.  The most fascinating aspect about research is that you never really get answers, just more questions…

Black abalone on San Nicolas Island, CA (B. Blaud)


The next logical step from there was to go back to school and pursue my Master’s degree.  One important thing about developing a project is that it’s not necessarily where the interest is, but where the money lies, and the money here is with an endangered black abalone.  I devoted all my time into learning everything I could about this intertidal sea snail.  My professor had spent almost 25 years working with black abalone on San Nicolas Island in California by that time, so a project was easy to develop with a quarter century worth of data on abundance, density, and size of black abalone around the Island.  But more on the project later…


So I come up with this kick ass project, to be humble.  It has all the bells and whistles.  It’s both impressive and ambitious.  The only thing needed was more money!  Unfortunately, due to a fluke and missed information, I lost funding.  Practically overnight, I go from developing a strong project to wondering how I’m going to pay tuition for the next quarter.  We scrambled and scraped and managed to make it through fall quarter, pay for tuition, a salary, and some field experiments, but we couldn’t make it work for winter quarter.  This led to my employment as a Starbucks barista to pay the bills (I have a weakness for pretty shoes).


After six months of making lattes and revising my project to become more financially achievable, I received an interesting email about crowfunding.  Crowfunding is the act of promoting and reaching out to a “crowd” of funders to micro-fund a project.  I write a project description, create a video, set up some rewards for different levels of funding to go on RocketHub, and shamelessly promote myself on Facebook, through emails, and blogs (hence, this blog).


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason I am developing this blog.  I am entering the new age of science, where researchers sing and dance on street corners to generate money for their projects.  I also would like to stay in touch with the public, because I think my work is fascinating and hope others find it awesome as well.


I look to forward to any feedback, comments, or suggestions any of you might have, so please, don’t be afraid to post comments!



One response

25 10 2012

“Where the money lies”… How it is true! Don’t give up!

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