Ivy Baremore has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Florida State University and a master’s degree in fisheries and aquatic sciences from the University of Florida. She worked as a biological technician, fishery observer coordinator, and then a fishery biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service Panama City Laboratory, where her research focused on commercial and recreational landings and life history biology of shark species in support of stock assessment. She moved to Belize in 2013 to take on the role of technical coordinator for MarAlliance, where she helps to coordinate and implement research activities.
How did you get involved with the work you are doing now— what led you into this particular line of research?
I worked as a contract employee for the U.S. federal government for 10 years and was very lucky to work with some of the most dedicated and talented fisheries scientists in their field. Though I enjoyed my work, I began to feel that my contributions were not terribly important in the grand scheme of fisheries management. In 2013, I made a big move—in my career and physical location—and joined a small non-governmental organization in Belize that is now MarAlliance (maralliance.org). Living and working full time in a developing country has given me a greater appreciation of what “data poor” can mean. It is also very rewarding to be part of a team that is helping to move this region out of the data poor category.
What is the most challenging work issue you are dealing with now—what is unique that makes it challenging?
Right at this moment, I’m in the process of renewing my work permit and applying for residency in Belize, which is probably the most frustrating part of my job! However, bureaucracy is hardly unique to this country. In reference to my actual work, we have just begun a brand new project funded by Save Our Seas Foundation and Rufford Small Grants studying the emerging deep-sea fishery here in Belize. Earlier this year, we started fishery-independent monitoring of deep-sea fishes, especially sharks.