Our ambassador Kendra has recently graduated and moved to Canada to start working as a marine biologist with PNW protectors. Exciting times for her, I’m sure you’ll agree! Check out this Q&A for more about Kendra and what inspires her …
If you were an animal what would you be?
Killer whale! I love the power and family bonds. As well as how they live in every ocean!
What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
I love to freedive and spend most of my spare time doing that. I also love to read and recently I have been really into blogging.
What is your first memory / experience of the ocean?
My first experience that I remember was a family trip to California. We snorkeled at La Jolla and I was TERRIFIED of everything. I was so scared I swam back to the kayaks and refused to get back in the water. At the time I was terrified of sharks and was paranoid I would see one. Didn’t exactly expect I’d grow up to be a marine biologist back then!
How did you get interested in sustainability / eco living and / or the ocean?
Once moving to Hawai’i for my degree, I participated in a beach cleanup and saw all the plastics on the beach and it really inspired me to do better and to learn more about this issue. It was obvious that the plastic was not just from tourism or general beach pollution (wrappers, bottles, etc).
What do you find hardest about advocating for the ocean and / or sustainability?
Perspective. And personability. People tend to want to protect things that are either cute/cuddly or something that directly impacts them in real time that they can physical comprehend. Essentially if it give them immediate gratification or just a cute animal. It can be hard to paint sharks, inverts, and plastic pollution in those lights. Those things rarely are directly impacting most people (especially my American audience) and they are not exactly typical cute.
What is your favourite place to visit?
Washington/British Columbia. Aka my new home!
Where do you want to travel next and why?
I would love to visit Norway to see their killer whale populations. They are so beautiful and have such interesting behaviors. I also would love to revisit the Galapagos and see the charismatic megafauna, like their killer whale populations, but also whale sharks.
What keeps you motivated and inspired?
Marine conservation efforts, but also just sea creatures in general! I am so fascinated by research and the lifecycles of ocean animals and that motivates me to continue my conservation efforts, but also just my research desires.
What advice would you give someone reading this who wants to start helping the ocean?
Keep learning and improving. Do not give up even on days where you may “fail” or just feel discouraged. Also make sure you are listening to BIPOC creators. Intersectional environmentalism is so so important!
Any upcoming projects / activities / causes you want to shout out?
I recently launched my marine biology Patreon! If you are wanting more of an inside look into a marine biologist life check it out! I also have a tier where I will work with you as your marine biology mentor…Check out her IG @intertidalkendy for more.