Join EarthEcho International as we highlight relatable voices in STEM careers! With STEMExplore, we invite female professionals to share their STEM journey with a live audience during dynamic 45-minute virtual events. The conversation will focus on women in STEM and the STEMExplore Mentor will share her personal journey and the positive influences that helped her to realize her professional capabilities.
During this 45-minute session, the participants will:
- Learn about coral reef conservation and marine science as a career in general;
- Observe the day to day tasks of a coral reef ecologist and marine conservationist;
- Gain insight into a STEM career and learn the steps it takes to become a professional in this area;
- Ask interview questions of the STEMExplore expert.
Original Air Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM EASTERN
Topic/Career: Biology; Marine Science; Ecology
STEMExplore Mentor: Daniela Escontrela, PhD Student, Marine Biology, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa
Dani has lived close to the coastline most of her life. Born in Venezuela, she was always within a few hours of the beach and remembers frequent weekend or summer getaways where she got to explore the coastlines and marine life, and ultimately, fall in love with the underwater world. When she moved to Florida, those adventures continued. At the young age of 13, Dani was introduced to one of her passions – scuba diving! She started college at the University of Miami in 2011 where she became involved with the shark research laboratory and continued her diving profession, becoming and working as a dive instructor. In her third year of college, Dani studied abroad in the Galapagos where she conducted various field projects for her classes and volunteered at a tortoise breeding center. After graduating, she moved to Belize where she worked for a little over a year for a nongovernmental organization, Blue Ventures, as a Field Scientist. After finishing her stint in Belize, she moved on to the Philippines where she served as a US Peace Corps Coastal Resource Manager for over two years. There she worked with teachers and fishermen to teach them about environmental conversation and ways to better manage their resources. Once her time came to a close, she moved to DC where she worked for a philanthropy, The Summit Foundation. There, she worked as the Mesoamerican Reef Program Associate where she managed grants that were awarded to conservation organizations in Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Most recently, Dani received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship which gave her the opportunity to go back to school to pursue her graduate studies. Currently, she is at the University of Hawaii where she has just started the first year of her PhD program and where she will be studying reef fishes in Hawaii’s coral reefs.