Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE Island Earth
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Featured Scientist: Jason Leonard - 07.07.2014

Occupation: Field Operations Coordinator, Papahnaumokukea Marine National Monument.

How I got into Marine Science: I grew up going diving and fishing, I was always was interested in the ocean and marine life. Going to school, I learned about how to protect our natural resources. Luckily, I got to work with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and now with the NOAA Papahnaumokukea Marine National Monument. I just love the ocean and doing what I can to protect it!

How did growing up in Hawaii influence you work: I grew up going camping and fishing with my dad and uncles every weekend at Kaena Point. I feel a real spiritual connection to Kaena – it is very much like the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands: a cultural place with lots of resources. Growing up doing things in the ocean motivated me to want to protect the ocean as much as I could.

Favorite part of being at sea: I like to explain why things are like they are. I like to know the ins and outs and why things function the way they do; I am very analytical in that way. If I can study things and understand the ecosystem and how it relates to other parts, it gives me a greater appreciation for it. Plus, it was the only thing I was really good at in school so I stuck with it!

Advice for Young Scientists: Get plugged in and show your passion. Get interested in people, ask questions, and volunteer all you can with ocean-related activities.

Questions for Jason? Contact him here:

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