Richelle Tanner competed in the NOSB’s Orca Bowl in 2010 and 2011 with Garfield High School. She stayed involved with the NOSB after graduation, saying, “As I continue to work with [the] NOSB as a question writer and uber judge at the Sea Lion Bowl, I really see the benefits of this program for high school students, whether they come out of it as scientists or not. I’m looking forward to working with [the] NOSB for a long time as I progress through my own career.”

Tanner is currently a Ph.D. candidate finishing at the University of California Berkeley this year. She hopes to move on to a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington State University in a few months. She studies marine environmental physiology, more specifically, the effects of climate change on intertidal invertebrates. Her dissertation work was on eelgrass sea slugs and how their role in their ecosystem can be impacted with environmental change. Tanner is proud of say she recently joined the Science Partnerships Committee with the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation; she always hopes to reach more of the public with strategic climate change messages.

Thinking back on the connections between the NOSB and her career path, Tanner says, “Every kid dreams of being a marine scientist, and I managed to actually make it my career! [The] NOSB was one of many things that I did as a child that contributed to my continuing love for the ocean. I was part of a thriving marine science program at my high school, and [the] NOSB gave me the opportunity to use my random trivia knowledge for something constructive. I also really enjoyed the experiences with the labs at UW that came with the bowl competition every year. I still think back to a research cruise that I took with the UW Applied Physics Lab (it was one of the prizes for Orca Bowl) where they were pilot testing a new remote sensing device – imagine my surprise now, many years later, when I see the final product of that prototype in my own marine lab!”

To find out more about Tanner, visit here