Rebecca Howard


I am a lesbian and I am a fisheries graduate student.//

I’m currently completing my M.S. in Marine Resource Management at Oregon State University and received my B.S. in Aquatic Biology at the University of California Santa Barbara. I got involved with research as soon as I began my undergraduate degree and have continued to work in the field. Between undergrad and grad school, I went to work in Alaska on commercial fishing vessels as a NOAA-contracted fisheries observer. Although I became very comfortable with being out as an undergrad, I often went back into the closet when I was at sea, fearing harassment while unable to leave the boat. I slowly learned who I could trust, but it was a difficult environmental to work in both as a lesbian and scientist. At the same time, I met many other observers who were beginning to discover their sexuality and often helped with that process of realization. Since then, I have tried to be open about my orientation. It can be hard to be in a career where you can’t find role models like you. I hope that by being visible I can provide an example for young LGBT marine scientists. And, although my experience as an observer was challenging, it led me to pursue fisheries science as my career.