Class Year


Current Hometown:

Silver Spring, MD

Job and Employer

NOAA Corps Officer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Over my career as a NOAA Corps Officer, I have held many jobs. I have been a deck officer on NOAA research ships and a scientific diver, but for the majority of my career I have been a pilot. I have flown a Twin Otter and King Air 350 on missions from the Arctic to the Equator conducting marine mammal research, atmospheric research, and coastal mapping. My favorite place to fly is in Alaska. Currently, I work just outside of Washington, DC in NOAA’s Silver Spring Campus. My primary responsibility is working with the different NOAA line offices to build our flight schedule for the year.

Community work & family

I have two children, Megan and Seton who are in elementary school. My husband, Jay Gallagher, holds down the fort when I am out traveling.

Graduate School

University of Colorado at Denver, Masters of Engineering, 2009. George Washington University, Masters Certificate in Project Management, 2012.

Senior project:

Harp Seals: History, Science, Management and Policy


New Zealand Fur Seal ecology

Human ecology in action:

My degree opened my mind to seeing all aspects of issues. I have taken that with me in my life and my career, and it has served me well. When an issue comes up that I have a “gut” reaction to, I usually sit with it for awhile, then try to see how people might feel otherwise. It helps to be able to see others perspectives and empathize with them, whether I’m trying to win an argument or just be able to work with them.

A COA experience that was particularly significant or memorable:

I loved living on MDI and have many wonderful memories of hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. My first year there the school organized a cross-island hike. I would love to do that again someday! 

Considerations for prospective students:

COA is an amazing place. You have so much freedom to choose your classes and steer your education. Take advantage of it! Dig in, work hard, have fun, learn about yourself and the world around you. You will leave with wonderful experiences, and a different perspective than you had when you began.