Alison Watts with Lionfish Central Field Operations

Meet Alison Watts

Fields Operations Assistant

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

Alison started her 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. She earned a M.A.S. in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Studies at the University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Alison enjoys 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 her favorite pastimes. Alison’s passion for diving has provided her with unparalleled opportunities to work with people in many other cultures and explore diverse coral reef ecosystems all over the world. The ocean has always been one of her greatest sources of inspiration. Her love for ocean conservation has lead her to work with many 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.