Meet Alison Watts

Submarine Project Intern

Alison Watts
Lionfish Comic Book Lionfish Hunting Scene

Alison Watts

Ever since I was a little girl I have been captivated by the power of the ocean. Growing up I always dreamed of becoming a marine scientist. I grew up near the small southern town of Chickamauga, Georgia. Initially all I wanted to do was travel around the world doing underwater photography and scientific expeditions such as what I have seen many times on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. For my 16th birthday my parents finally bought me scuba lessons, which only added fuel to the fire. I didn`t live anywhere near the ocean but I did live forty- five minutes away from the Tennessee Aquarium, which is where my journey began. It is said that every river eventually connects to the ocean.

I started my academic pursuit at Florida Keys Community College and later graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo with bachelor’s degrees in Marine Science, Environmental Studies and Communications. I completed my M.A.S. in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Studies at the University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I enjoy working on projects that are focused on reef resilience and improving the conditions of our oceans. As an avid underwater photographer and scuba diving instructor, slipping beneath the waves is one of my favorite pastimes. My passion for diving has provided me with unparalleled opportunities to work with people in many other cultures and explores diverse coral reef ecosystems all over the world. I am always inspired to work with people and organizations to facilitate the monitoring and management of coral reef ecosystems and improve the livelihood of communities that rely on coastal marine resources.