MEET THE TEAM
Chief Research Coordinator
B.A Marine Science - University of Hawai'i, Hilo
M.S. Fish, Wildlife, Conservation Biology - Colorado State University [in progress]
Maria graduated from University of Hawaii in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marine Science and is working on her graduate degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Maria’s love for the ocean, education, and research has taken her all over the world in recent years. Notably after graduation, Maria worked in Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and Cape Cod. During her travels, she has worked as a Captain, naturalist, expedition guide, assistant researcher, and level-4 marine animal disentanglement specialist. Her work and studies have encompassed a variety of species, including spinner dolphins, humpback whales, right whales, bottlenose dolphins, leatherback turtles, and whale sharks. In recent years, Maria has been a guest lecturer and distinguished speaker for private universities and cruise operations, including the University of Pennsylvania's Veterinary School, Georgetown University, and UnCruise Adventures.
Brainchild, Hawai‘i Uncharted Research Collective, provides an avenue to couple her research and education background with her love for Kona, the Hawaiian Islands, ocean conservation, community outreach, and the charismatic megafauna that inhabit the deep blue waters of the Pacific.
“Whale sharks are an endangered species. So if they are in our waters, we need to understand how to protect them and how to preserve them.”
West Hawaii Today, July 6, 2018, "Budding nonprofit looks to document whale sharks in Hawaii"