Growing up the daughter of a San Diego Sport Fisherman, Risa developed a love of travel and all things ocean early in life.
After completing her BA at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada, she pursued graduate work in Aquatic Ecology and obtained a degree in Marine Technology at the College of Oceaneering with a specialty in Diving Medicine. Risa’s diving experience brought her to the US Navy Marine Mammal Program in 2000. She spent five years supporting various Fleet Systems and the Breeding Program as an Animal Trainer. Since 2005 Risa has continued her support of the animals by coordinating the Foundation’s clinical and research diagnostics and acting as the NMMF’s Registrar and Regulatory Specialist.