Alumna spotlight

Alumni: making us proud

Integrative Biology alumna Megan Cook’s (’09) boundless enthusiasm for the ocean has taken her far: from researching coral reef ecosystems and coastal oceans to promoting ocean literacy as a diver, submarine pilot and filmmaker.

After graduating magna cum laude with degrees in Biology and Chemistry, Cook plunged into her career as an ocean ambassador working to bridge the areas of science, communication, industry and exploration.

“I became a talented scientist while learning at OSU, but more importantly I learned there were no bounds to the global reach my work could have,” says Cook.

“Traveling in international scholar exchange, diving into a field research team and being mentored in a community of inspiring peers and exceptional leaders gave me great confidence that my contributions could, should and would be impactful.”

Currently a STEM Project Coordinator at the Ocean Exploration Trust, Cook frequently uses video and photography to bring marine science to the public. A self-described “ocean extrovert,” Cook’s role as an emerging ocean leader was recognized with a Rolex Scholarship in 2013 that allowed her to travel and learn across the world’s oceans for one year. Prior to that, she was awarded the prestigious Our World—Underwater Scholarship in 2012. She has traveled across the oceans of Antarctica, Africa, Europe and South America.

At Oregon State, Cook was mentored by Dr. Mark Hixon and conducted research dives in Australia and the Bahamas to study the effects of lionfish invasion on coral reefs. She rowed for the NCAA crew team, played for the Equestrian Polo team, edited the undergraduate research journal The Catalyst and studied abroad in two programs.

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