Kate Swails attended Penn State University as an undergraduate where she majored in Environmental Resource Management and Marine Science. Kate went on to get a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University with an emphasis in Coastal Environmental Management. While at Duke, she had the opportunity to live in Cape Cod for the summer and worked for the Cape Cod Marine Mammal Stranding Network as a stranding response volunteer. Currently, she works in NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Protected Resources as a fisheries biologist. Kate’s job in the Permits, Conservation, and Education Division is to review and process permit applications for scientific research on species protected under the Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection Acts. She doesn’t spend all her time in an office though; for the past two summers Kate was lucky enough to participate in scientific research cruises with NMFS science centers. She got to spend 3 weeks in the Gulf of Maine surveying for right whales and 2 weeks off the coast of California looking for leatherback sea turtles.