© 2009 Cherilyn Jose, taken off of the coast of Monterey, California

My name is Cherilyn and I am a Marine Biologist, Aquarist, Environmental Scientist, Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), Blogger, Writer, Photographer, and Stay-At-Home Mother.

Here is a little background on how I realized that protecting the oceans is my life purpose:

I have always loved the water, and childhood trips to the tidepools at Moss Beach (California), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco, and a whale watching trip in the 6th grade all stand out. I would like to thank my elementary school teachers for instilling a love of the natural world in me. Ms. Hughes taught me to love birds, Ms. Lee read "Island of the Blue Dolphins" to the class, Ms. Kennedy instilled in me my lifelong love of whales, and Ms. Iuso-Cox had her "Herstory Parade," in which I was Rachel Carson. Little then did I know how much of an influence Rachel Carson would have on my career and life. I also would like to thank my female science teachers in junior (Ms. Dirks) and senior high (Ms. Marantz) who are still my mentors.

I was in elementary school when I first heard Dr. Sylvia Earle speak at a career day--and she has been an inspiration to me ever since. At a lecture and book signing for her book Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans many years later I said she's been in every ocean documentary I've seen and she laughed.

After a spiritual awakening, I re-listened to Dr. Jane Goodall's spiritual autobiography, "Reason for Hope," and I know now I am to follow in her footsteps. I recently got to meet her at a book signing at the Bioneers Conference where I told her that I'm going to continue her work, with emphasis on the oceans and that I hope to be her age when I step outside my comfort zone. That got a little chuckle. For more on that encounter with Dr. Jane...I started a chapter of Jane Goodall's youth group, Roots and Shoots, at my son's school, Kitayama Elementary. We were honored with national group of the month for June 2011!  Check us out here

I got my bachelor's degree in the Environmental Sciences with an emphasis in Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. My senior thesis was "The Distribution and Abundance of Cryptofaunal Communities for Use in Biological Monitoring of Coral Reefs." and was published in Berkeley Scientific. I received my Veterinary Technology degree from Foothill College in Los Altos, California. I worked and volunteered at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for four years, worked at (the former) Six Flags Marine World for two years and volunteered at the Oakland Zoo for three years.

I am a certified SCUBA diver with over 35 dives under my belt. Getting certified for me was not easy, as I had to overcome my fear of being in the water. Thanks to Melon Dash and her Miracle Swimming Institute I got over that fear.

I am fortunate to have dove in the cold waters off Monterey Bay, California, off the second longest barrier reef near Belize, off of the Hawaiian reefs (and seen the graceful manta rays!), and off the amazingly diverse coral reefs of Indonesia. I have many photos from those dives and others that are on Flickr

Although I have loved the ocean my whole life, only recently have I known for sure that it is my life purpose to be an advocate for the oceans. I have a blog, "Ocean of Hope: Marine Animals Voice Their Wishes" told from the point of view of different marine animals. Please check it often! I am a Research Assistant with the Kerulos Center, which aims to "Create a world where animals live in dignity and freedom." I am a Board Member and Scientific Advisor for the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance APAOHA. We were instrumental in getting California to ban the sale, distribution and possession of shark fins (California Assembly Bill 376 or AB 376). Feel free to contact me with any feedback, thank you! I'm on Twitter too, see below...Cherilyn

Last updated September 17, 2012

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