I was so lucky to grow up in a family that prioritized hunting and camping. Spending all the time on the spring sea ice and summer out at sea was the best times we had as a family. I am even more lucky to spend my time on the land now, as a student and as a job! Many summer jobs throughout the studies have included spending time at remote camps across Nunavut watching birds, whales and fish all in the name of science.
I didn't always want to become a researcher, in fact I spent a couple of years in the military because that's what I thought I wanted to do. Finding out exactly what you want to do after high school can take a couple of years, and it took me three to figure to I wanted to study marine biology, and a few summer jobs in the field to cement this decision. I remember there was one specific moment while I was in the high arctic where I decided to pursue graduate studies in marine biology. I was sitting on an observation platform alone on the cliff edge writing field observation of Akpait (thick-billed murres) when I saw some beluga hundreds of feet below in the water swimming by. I was so fascinated with watching the beluga swim with no one else around that I decided I wanted to do this again. It's been seven years since that summer and I am glad to have gone down this education journey, since now I am studying the health of marine mammals across Inuit Nunaat.