Sydney Rilum graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego in 2018 with a bachelor’s in Environmental & Ocean Sciences, Marine Ecology focus. During her undergraduate career, Sydney was a marine mammalogy intern at the Aquarium of the Pacific, learning the proper nutrition and training required to care for seals, sea lions, and sea otters. She also worked as an NSF-funded REU student at the Duke University Marine Laboratory, conducting research on the effects of water salinity and chemical cues on the molting of fiddler crab larvae. After graduation, Sydney was employed as a Tidepool Educator for the Laguna Ocean Foundation, where she monitored and protected the tidepools within Laguna Beach’s marine protected areas and provided tidepool education to the public. In her spare time, she volunteered with OC Habitats, a non-profit environmental organization in Orange County, collecting bimonthly data from beach dune field surveys, hosting beach clean-up events, and conducting educational outreach for elementary schools. Sydney also served as a Scientific Aid for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, carrying out habitat and trail restoration as well as California least tern chick monitoring. Sydney plans to pursue a dual specialization in Coastal Marine Resources Management and Coastal Planning at the Bren School. She hopes to further her career in ocean conservation, education, and research with a specific focus on the impacts of climate change and plastic pollution.