Headshot of tracy hajduk and a photo of her teaching marine science in a classroom setting

Tracy Hajduk | National Education Coordinator

NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

What does a typical day look like for you?

I spend much of my time trying to make connections or share information with what is happening across our network of educators and other places—both internal and external to NOAA. My day-to-day is a mixture of having meetings, responding to emails, and working on various projects. I work to amplify all of the amazing work our educators do and build new partnerships.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

I think like many educators, especially those in the environmental field, the hope that we are helping to create a generation of empowered, engaged, and enthusiastic youth and adults really is rewarding. I hope all youth feel connected to the environment, feel a part of it, and know the importance of everyone having access to a healthy and productive environment.

What if any challenges have you faced as a woman in an ocean-related career?

I still see evidence that there are not as many women in the sciences, but luckily that continues to change in the right direction. However, I feel even more engaged to be a part of the solution and help encourage science through education programs as well as through amazing programs like the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship that not only promotes women in the sciences, but also other underrepresented groups.

What is one piece of advice you would share with someone who might be thinking of pursuing your career path?

Hear as many viewpoints as you can, and listen and respect the ways others connect with the ocean. It means so many things to different people and to be a good educator means you can help people connect to the ocean in the way that makes sense to them, not just the way that makes sense to you.