Featured Profile: Mariah Boyle

Mariah Boyle

Mariah Boyle

This week’s student spotlight is on Mariah Boyle, a graduate student in the Ichthyology Lab.   Mariah is currently studying the feeding habits of the roughtail skate for her thesis.  Check out her student profile to discover how she got her start in marine science – with a father who manages a dive shop and a mom who teaches swim lessons, it’s a logical step!   “Since they are both part fish, I was close to developing gills for a while as a kid,” Mariah writes of her parents.  Some advice she has for people interesetd in marine science: “While marine science may be a tough field, if it is what you truly love to do, stick with it. Too many people out there are not doing what they love for work.”  Read more!

Speaking of jobs you love, Mariah has used her flexible grad-school schedule to  take advantage of the kind of opprtunity most people only dream about:  becoming part of Tribewanted, a unique, environmentally aware, cross-cultural community tourism project on Vorovoro Island, Fiji.

Mariah in Fiji

Mariah in Fiji

By joining  Tribewanted, she was given  access to the online side of the project (voting rights and message forums on www.tribewanted.com) and then could schedule a visit to the  island for however many weeks she chose. The land is being leased by a British company, and in turn the Fijians get to share their culture and earn a good wage. The project has a low impact on the island – the drinking water is captured rainwater, the shower is a natural waterfall, the fish is speared right off the beach.

Members of Tribewanted can be elected as chief for a month by posting a manifesto and being voted in by the other members online.  As chief this summer, Mariah was in charge of the on-island operation for a month -making sure there is enough water, managing the budget, organizing trips to villages, and making sure everyone is having an amazing time.  Mariah wrote a series of blog posts while serving as chief, including topics such as marine safety, sharks and sustainable seafood.   Check back soon and we’ll post even more stories about her tropical adventures!

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