From a very young age Kenji knew that he wanted his future to involve the ocean, whether it be studying it, playing in it, or just living near it. In 2010, Kenji graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Marine Biology. He spent the next year volunteering as a guide for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, in an aquaponics greenhouse, and in the Ichthyology Lab at MLML. After this, he began to work for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as a Scientific Aide for the California Recreational Fisheries Study project and plans to keep working there through his time as a student at MLML. As a scientific aide for this project he interviews sport anglers and collects hatchery tagged salmon heads (much to the anglers’ chagrin when they discover they cannot take their salmon heads home). Through his volunteering at MLML, Kenji discovered more about its community, projects, degree intensity, and focus on field research. Because all of these aspects appealed to him, he applied to MLML and will start his studies in the fall of 2013. Kenji is interested in deep sea ecology and the extremophiles that make up hydrothermal vent and whale fall communities.