The author (left) and Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy aboard R/V Sally Ride in San Diego.

A love of ocean science has been a part of who I am since infancy, from attending summer camp through Monterey Bay Aquarium as a kid to volunteering with the Birch Aquarium at Scripps after college. I’ve always aspired to be an explorer, and remember the day I learned that humankind knew more about space than about our own oceans. Knowing that there’s still so much left to be discovered excites me, and drives me to keep getting involved in new activities.


I have a degree in Biology from University of California, San Diego (2003) and have been a UC employee ever since, making the transition to Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2009 as a marine chemist with the Oceanographic Data Facility. Since then I have traveled to 5 continents to participate in research expeditions, taking me across all of the world’s oceans. I am gone from home almost as often as I am there, but I find that I’ve never tired of staring out at the ocean’s horizon, whether from land or from a ship.

I have been cultivating a love for writing and photography as a way to share my amazing travels – both for work and personal experience. I am honored to be in charge of sharing R/V Sally Ride’s journey as it joins SIO’s storied fleet. Thank you so much for reading!                    – Melissa Miller

Please email with questions or comments about this blog, the ship, or anything else related to R/V Sally Ride.


At Monterey Bay Aquarium, circa 1988


Studying migrating seabirds at Mono Lake, 2002