Hailey Shchepanik, 25, is from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Born and raised on the shores of Lake Superior, she graduated in 2018 with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biology from Lakehead University. As an undergraduate student, she studied abroad in Singapore and South Korea. She is currently completing a Master’s degree in Marine Sciences at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), studying marine invasive species and the impact of aquaculture and shipping on the Red Sea.
Hailey's scientific diving and research experience spans several countries, languages, and ecosystems. As a Research Assistant at Cape Breton University, she studied an invasive oyster parasite and sustainable aquaculture. She then completed an internship focusing on fisheries resource management at the University of Belize, working alongside conservation officers and small-scale fishers.
In Saudi Arabia, she leads KAUST's Biosecurity project, which aims to detect and monitor invasive species in the Red Sea. She has collaborated with local policymakers and stakeholders, organized international scientific conferences, and contributed to scientific outreach as an educator, all while completing her thesis research on non-native aquaculture escapees.
As the 2022 National Park Service intern, Hailey is honored and excited to work alongside a diverse, multidisciplinary team of researchers and conservationists while learning about the rich culture, history, and underwater resources of the US National Park Service. This opportunity will provide a platform to cultivate unique skills and a career at the intersection of science, art, and ocean advocacy—furthering her role in bringing the knowledge of the ocean's vast, submerged resources up to sea level.