A bit about my personal journey: I grew up in New York City but was fortunate that my mom always found a way for our family to escape to the coast or a lake for a few weeks every summer. I loved swimming, body surfing, and fishing, and was a total bookworm as a kid. My career track was not very linear though. At first I went to college to study fine art photography, then I dropped out and worked as a cook at a small but popular restaurant, then I started a family and finally went back to college to complete a degree in biology. I thought it was my first step on the path to becoming a science journalist. Along the way I was seduced by the wonders of marine life and oceanography. A few of my professors urged me to go to graduate school to become a scientist. I was not really sure I knew what a scientist did, exactly, but got a taste of it by working on a research project with my ecology professor. The thought of writing a dissertation was still incredibly intimidating. However, I was enjoying doing science and imagined I would learn what I needed to know along the way. I took a giant leap of faith, moved my family across the country, and started my PhD when my son was 5 years old. I was lucky to have family who could provide a financial safety net (which I relied on a number of times). I benefited from wonderful mentors, worked hard, took out student loans (still paying those off), and had some decent luck along the way.