I am a coastal planning specialist for the Texas Coastal Management Program (TCMP) in the Texas General Land Office's Coastal Resources Division. I assist in the implementation of the Coastal Zone Management Act Section 309 strategic plan for program enhancement, conduct grant reviews and help coordinate with local coastal programs and partnerships and state and federal resource agencies. I previously worked on the non-point pollution program and conducted federal consistency reviews on permit applications for development and restoration activities. The TCMP provides coastal grants to state and local entities to increase and improve public access; protect and restore critical areas, such as wetlands; improve water quality; improve natural hazards response; improve information and data availability; and conduct public education and outreach activities.
I've always loved learning about and exploring the ocean, so I followed my passion into this field. Thus far, the hardest decision to make was whether to go into research or policy-based resource management. I believed I could have a greater impact using my knowledge and understanding of science to better inform the decision-making process to protect the resource I value the most: the ocean.
I enjoy working and collaborating with people who are also engaged and enthusiastic about protecting and conserving our natural resources for future generations. I also enjoy seeing the on the ground implementation of projects done by our agency and partners.
Change in the policy arena takes time, so work efforts are not often realized until further down the line. I would like to have a better balance between desk work and being out in the field learning about and observing our project work.
I love outdoor activities such as scuba diving, swimming, exploring and photography. Traveling to new places, especially coastal areas, keeps me balanced and focused on the big picture.
My parents always fostered my passion for marine life and indulged my sense of adventure and travel. As far as a hero, I think, like most young people looking into this field, it would be Dr. Sylvia Earle and her relentless pursuit to explore, protect and teach us all she has learned about the ocean.
Find work in something you are passionate about and take a chance when opportunities present themselves, as you may be surprised where you end up.
Careers in federal and state government are not increasing due to financial constraints, however, careers in the private sector related to sustainability and engineering appear to be increasing as we look to address future problems, such as climate change and water resource issues.
Continuing my work on coastal and ocean issues to provide better planning and resource management. Doing more traveling along the way would be good, too.