Our Interview With Melissa Mahoney

Our Interview With Melissa Mahoney

September 03, 2019

We interviewed Melissa Mahoney, a fisheries policy manager who is passionate about creating healthy ocean and fishing communities. Melissa hopes to help with better management of fish resources in a step towards creating a cleaner future.

  • What is your occupation?  
  • Currently [I am a]  fisheries policy manager for EDF.

  • Why did you choose the career?
  • I love the ocean, love fish, and enjoy the challenges of fisheries management.

  • Briefly, what does a typical day look like for you?
  • Mostly computer work, phone calls, some in person meetings.

  • How does your work contribute to humanity?
  • I hope that my involvement contributes to better management of fish resources, a healthy ocean and fishing communities.

  • Will you tell us about your education?
  • I have a M.Sc. in marine science, BS in biology.

  • What was your favorite class in school?
  • Civics in high school, marine biology/field studies in university.

  • Did you have a mentor, if so, how did they support you?
  • I’ve had many mentors all through school and career. Mentors are sounding boards, cheerleaders, offer thoughtful reflection, write letters of support, and helped me gain confidence in my own abilities. Mentors are great to have!

  • What areas would you advise students to explore as career paths?  (where are jobs?)
  • Find out what makes you tick, try lots of new things, travel when you can. Forget the search ‘to make money’ so much as the search for your passion and to put your unique gifts to work in the world!

    Okay, if you must make money, I suggest studying computer science (i.e. programming), spatial analysis (GIS) skills as that is used in practically everything now.

  • What topics do you think we as a population should be teaching our kids that we are not teaching them now?
  • Meditation/mindfulness, emotional intelligence, communication.


  • What advice would you give a student interested in the sciences?
  • Study hard, don’t give up when the science gets tough!