Dawn is currently a research biologist and founder of EcoSea Expeditions, an ecotour company leading oceanic expeditions in citizen science. Her research is broadly focused on marine conservation and reef ecology. Her work through EcoSea Expeditions turns ocean-loving tourists into citizen scientists that collect ecological data for her research. Utilizing a workforce of enthusiastic tour groups enables her to continually document change in marine populations and assess the effects of conservation measures, anthropogenic impacts, and climate change. Working in citizen science allows her to integrate local communities into the scientific process, communicate research discoveries to a broader audience, and provides a powerful tool in promoting conservation and sustainability.
As a marine biologist, Dawn works in both the tropical coral reef and the temperate kelp forest ecosystem. It is rare for a researcher to work in such vastly different ocean environments. Dawn enjoys exploring broad-scale processes that span different worlds and bringing analogous ecological processes to light under a common conservation theme. Starting with her work as a Peace Corps volunteer in 2000, Dawn continues to bring a community approach to the scientific investigation of population dynamics in fisheries targeted species. Her interdisciplinary approach to science and conservation facilitates partnerships between the tourism sector, research organizations, and resource managers.