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Krisa Arzayus
Katie Valentine

Krisa Arzayus

Dr. Krisa Arzayus is the deputy director of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Office in NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS).

What drew you to your current career or field?

I chose oceanography as a career because I care about the environment. I wanted to apply science to understanding the environment. After graduate school, I was interested in the nexus of science and policy making. I was a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow and that experience shaped the rest of my career in NOAA's OAR, NESDIS, and now NOS.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I most enjoy working together with partners within NOAA and across agencies to accomplish NOAA’s mission and the IOOS enterprise mission.  As a supervisor and as a manager, I enjoy being an enabler for others so that they can shine.

Who do you look to as a role model and why?

I look to my graduate school advisor, Dr. Elizabeth Canuel, as a role model.  As a female professor in a traditionally male-dominated physical sciences department, she demonstrated every day that women can be successful scientists. She does it with grace and confidence.

Dr. Krisa Arzayus tags a tiger shark
Dr. Krisa Arzayus tags a tiger shark just north of Oahu, Hawaii. Dr. Arzayus and colleagues with PacIOOS/Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology attached sensors to the sharks that allow the scientists to track them, learn about their behavior and collect basic temperature profiles in the ocean.

What was the best advice ever given to you that helped you become successful? 

The best advice I was ever given was to "sit at the table." I used to sit on the side of the room and only contribute when asked. I was told that my opinion is valuable and I should more actively bring that input to the discussion.

Looking back, what would you tell yourself when you were 12 years old? Or what advice would you give to a woman just starting out in her career?

If I could give advice to myself when I was 12, I would tell myself to be confident in my abilities and to start thinking about my unique talents and strengths that I can bring to a team. I would also tell myself that the value of people networks can’t be emphasized, enough, when it comes to getting a job and moving forward in your career. Individual capabilities and strengths, alone, are not enough to realize your full potential.

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    Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.


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