Emma Brandon

Assistant Program Director - Toyon Bay

Having grown up the Sacramento area, raising cattle and horses and not visiting the ocean until I was in sixth grade, I often wonder how my life led me to working with Guided Discoveries.

Though, when I think back, my sixth grade science trip to the coast is the key contributor. At the time I had no idea that a career in the marine biology realm even existed but I was hooked from that trip on to do something ocean related in the future. In 8th grade this dream continued and throughout high school the dream developed more. For my high school senior project I was tasked with receiving 20 hours of experience in a field I’d hope to go into. I flew down to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and completed nearly all of my experience through job shadowing and finished my hours by getting SCUBA certified in Monterey, CA. It was those six key years that truly shaped my life as it is now. I attended Humboldt State University and received a degree in marine biology with a scientific diving minor. This ultimately led me down to Catalina Sea Camp in the summer of 2015 and my career started with Guided Discoveries in the summers as a NAUI SCUBA Instructor. After graduating from Humboldt State in 2017, I went back to CIMI to work as a full time science instructor. As I developed throughout the seasons, I joined our aquarist team in the spring of 2018 and that continued to fulfill my sixth grade oceanic dream. I currently help run our diving procedures as the assistant dive director and ensure quality operations with our aquarium system. While I am super passionate about our aquarium and diving operations, I love having the opportunity to jump in and teach when I have the chance to. I often think back to my week experience as a sixth grader and know that the time our kids have in Toyon Bay and Fox Landing is life changing and the memories will be cherished forever.

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Work with Catalina Island Marine Institute

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