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Margot Stiles

Senior Chief Scientist
at OCEANA International

(the largest international organization
focused solely on ocean conservation!)

Margot has been using science to help protect the world's oceans for the last 15 years, living and working in more than 29 different countries. She began her career with a degree in Biology from Vassar College and a Master's in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. After finishing her studies, she started her own business and worked with environmental groups including the World Wildlife Fund, Seattle Audubon, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium on projects ranging from creating lists of environmentally friendly sea foods to helping protect coral reefs from changes in the temperature of our oceans.

Nancy sat down with Margot to talk about her work, the path she took to get there, and why she loves being a scientist.

Nancy: What is your goal as a scientist?

Margot: I want to save the ocean by partnering with other scientists who are also committed to changing the world.

Nancy: Wow! What kinds of things do you do on an average day to help you achieve this goal?

Margot: I research the marine environment in different countries. I read about fish and corals around the world in scientific papers and online. Then I learn more by talking to people on the phone and visiting in person for a week or two.

Nancy: What is the most exciting thing you've done as a scientist?

Margot: I got to see a brand new species of anemone while scuba diving in the fjords of Patagonia (that's a region in South America).

Nancy: That's so cool! I'm sure it's not great all the time, though. What is your least favorite responsibility at work?

Margot: I don't like spending so much time indoors on the computer.

Nancy: What advice do you have for kids who are interested in marine biology?

Margot: Become a good writer, listener, and ask lots of questions. Find what you care about most and keep pushing toward it, however you can. And be friendly to everyone—some of them will help you someday.

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