Jessie Hale | Alexandra Ulmke | Derek Brady | Jasmine Palmer |

Kelsey Gaessner | Keri Salemme | Ross Whippo | Whitney Grover

These student profiles introduce some of our marine biology minors and show the range and scope of their activities.

Jessie Hale

derekMarine biology minor and Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) major, Jessie Hale, first became interested in marine biology in 6th grade, when she went to summer camp at Camp Orkila on Orcas Island.  After days in the field doing fish trawls and night classes watching the waves sparkle green with bioluminescence, Jessie told her mom she wanted to become a marine biologist. Read more...

Alexandra Ulmke

derekAt the beginning of her sophomore year, Alex Ulmke had no idea what to major in.  She had grown up visiting her grandparents’ house on a Florida inlet with manatees swimming by, and she wanted to become a marine biologist to save them.  During her freshman year at UW, she took study breaks to watch documentaries about whales.  After taking a course from a UW professor who was researching whales and the Endangered Species Act, she figured out she could tailor her UW education to her fascination with marine mammal conservation. Read more...

Derek Brady

derekUW marine biology student Derek Brady became interested in studying marine biology after flying on a US Air Force mission to McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica.  While dropping off supplies for the scientists, Derek figured out he wanted to pursue marine science as a career:

“The opportunity to speak with scientists from around the world and gather insight to the world of marine biology is what first gained my interest.”

When Derek transferred to UW from Pierce Community College, he took OCEAN 200 –Survey of Oceanography.  During that course, Oceanography professor and hydrothermal vents expert Deborah Kelley...Read more...

Jasmine Palmer

whitney“I just can’t get enough bird research!” said Jasmine Palmer who is quickly becoming a bird expert through her experiences at UW that include apprenticing for a quarter at Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL), UW’s marine station on San Juan Island.  Jasmine, now a biology major, marine biology minor, and Environmental Science and Resource Management (ESRM) minor, came to UW as an Edmonds Community College transfer student.  She knew she wanted to major in a biological science and quickly figured out that birds united all her interests. Read more...

Kelsey Gaessner

whitneyWhat causes phytoplankton Pseudo-nitzschia to produce domoic acid when it blooms?  Domoic acid is a neurotoxin that has negative effects on shellfish fisheries and mammal, bird, and human health.  UW junior Kelsey Gaessner is helping to answer this question in her research in the Armbrust Labs at UW. Kelsey is pursuing a biology major with a double minor in marine biology and oceanography.   She gained a position in the Armbrust Labs after taking the Marine Zoology and Botany Quarter at Friday Harbor Labs (FHL), UW’s marine station in the San Juan Islands. Read more...

Keri Salemme

whitneyKeri Salemme, a recent UW graduate with a BS in Oceanography and a marine biology minor, begins her career at Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. Her work there will involve a combination of marine mammal research and educating the public. 

Keri claims that her UW Oceanography and marine biology courses that involved fieldwork and research were great resume builders.  During her degree, she also participated in a variety of internships that helped her prepare for this exciting job. Read more...

Ross Whippo

whitneyUW junior and Seattle Central Community College transfer student, Ross Whippo, is a SCUBA diving enthusiast who has integrated diving into his coursework for an Aquatic & Fisheries Science major and a marine biology minor.  Unlike many marine biology students, Ross’ passion in high school was drama. After high school, Ross worked for years in Seattle theaters doing a range of jobs from lighting designer to technical director.  Two years ago, he realized that he needed a break from theater work and that he had lost track of what he wanted to do.  He decided he needed a vacation before he figured it out.  Read more...

Whitney Grover

whitney In the course of a summer packed with long hours in labs sketching marine invertebrates and dissecting squid, senior biology major Whitney Grover discovered that she wants to go to graduate school in marine biology. Whitney, a Washington native, decided to pursue a biology major at UW because biology was her favorite subject in high school. She discovered that she had a passion for marine biology while taking her biology major pre-requisites.  During her sophomore year, she added Biology 250 – Introduction to Marine Biology to her schedule as an elective. In the marine biology course, she noticed that, “it covered a lot of material, but it all kind of interested me and made me think that this is what I should be focusing on.” Last fall, she added the marine biology minor to continue taking marine biology classes. Read more...

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