Growing up along the Gulf Coast of Florida, Dara has been drawn to the sea from a young age – a love that was fostered through her 2012 BVI adventure with GoBeyond. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with majors in ecology and anthropology, and she’s currently pursuing a PhD in Environmental Science, Studies, and Policy from the University of Oregon. The true highlights of her studies have been the opportunities to connect up-close-and-personal with the ocean world: restoring coral reefs in Indonesia, swimming with wild dusky dolphins in New Zealand, diving with sharks in Fiji, and gliding along sea turtles in the Great Barrier Reef – experiences which have only strengthened her resolve to contribute toward a healthy restoration of our blue planet. When not underwater, Dara enjoys hiking, concert-going, and enthusiastic conversations about environmental justice. She hopes to pursue a career in international ocean advocacy, and she can’t wait for this summer!