Over the years, many budding biologists have gained research experience and training as graduate students working with Dr. Denise Herzing, the Wild Dolphin Project’s founder and director. For instance, Dr. Cindy Elliser was a PhD student with Denise and is now the research director at Pacific Mammal Research, a scientific research organization that studies marine mammals, like harbor porpoises, in the Salish Sea. Other graduate students are working as professors, science communicators and educators, or working on their PhDs. Now, we would like to introduce to you WDP’s newest graduate student Brittini Hill!
Brittini discovered the Wild Dolphin Project and decided to participate in an intern trip with us last summer. She did an awesome job and was a very helpful team member, in addition to having a natural ability for photo-identification. Because of her strong work ethic, comfort in the water, and her generally easy-going and enjoyable personality (which helps when you are spending 10 days out at sea on a boat together), we invited her to join us for a few more trips.
In her words, “What did you dream of as a child? For me, it was dolphins, including the group’s biggest member—killer whales. I spent countless hours in my basement at a discarded typewriter my dad found for me while taking a load of someone’s unwanted possessions to the dump. In my free time, I read books and typed reports on dolphins and whales. I dressed up as a marine biologist for career days, which entailed me carrying around my V-tech computer (which was covered in dolphin stickers) and presenting my reports.”
Recently, Brittini was accepted at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs for a graduate program in biology, with a focus on ecology and evolution. Dr. Herzing is going to be her co-advisor and they will be deciding on a project for Brittini soon.
You will find Brittini out with us this summer working on the boat and following her dream of studying marine mammals!