Laurel N. Zaima

Laurel N. ZaimaLaurel N. Zaima

Rosenstiel Marine and Atmospheric Science, Bachelor of Science,
Marine Science and Biology Major, Chemistry Minor, Class of 2015

Where are you from?

I'm from Michigan, a suburb outside of Detroit. My nationality is Japanese, Polynesian, and Caucasian.

Are you a scholarship recipient?

International Education and Exchange Study Abroad Stipend, and donations towards my internship (R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program)

Explain why you chose the University of Miami as the preferred school for you to attend.

Many reasons brought me to the University of Miami from the prestigious undergraduate Marine Science Program; the school spirit; the location; the beautiful campus; and the diversity on campus.

Describe your fondest memory or experience as a student.

My fondest memories while at the University of Miami occur through my internship with the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. There was one day that I went out on the boat in the Florida Keys to go shark tagging, and my mom and older brother surprised me by joining me on this trip. Usually, neither family members nor friends can go on our shark tagging trips, but my research professor made an exception. When I arrived at the boat, I was shocked to see my family already on the boat, ready to go. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to show my mom and brother what exactly my internship does and my passion for research.

What do you want your legacy to be as a Miami Hurricane?

I want to leave a legacy in the field of Marine Science and my involvement on campus. I hope that my legacy is positive from the people that I have encountered and helped through the multiple clubs, societies, and sorority (Zeta Tau Alpha) that I participate in. I also hope that I leaving a lasting impact on the people that read my Marine Science conservation blog posts via the R.J.D. Marine Conservation web page. I hope that through my work and internship through that I have made impactful contributions towards the conservation for sharks and have expanded the public's knowledge about these apex oceanic predators so that there is a better understanding of how crucial sharks are to the ecosystem.

Why is it important for alumni to give back to the University of Miami?

It is important for alumni to give back to the University of Miami so that students can continue utilizing the opportunities at UM regardless of their socio-economic status.

Who or what is your favorite professor or course?

My favorite professor is Professor Neil Hammerschlag. I have not had Dr. Hammerschlag as a professor in a class, but I have learned much from him in the past 3 years from R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. He is very hands on and cares about the research of his students as much as he cares about his own research.

Did you study abroad?

I studied abroad Spring 2013 in Townsville, Australia at James Cook University focusing on marine science courses.

What are you career aspirations or where will you be working once you graduate?

After I graduate the University of Miami I plan on attending graduate school in order to earn my Masters and PhD. My career goals are to conserve sharks all around the world via scientific researching while teaching as a professor at a prestigious Marine Science university.