Craig Dawes recently completed his first year of graduate school at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. His graduate studies focused on the phylogenomics and taxonomy of marine invertebrates, with special focus on cumaceans, a shrimp-like crustacean. Craig’s interest in marine science and invertebrates was inspired by a biology professor at NYC College of Technology (CUNY), which is where Craig received his B.S. in Biomedical Informatics in 2017. Craig gained professional experience as a Research Assistant at the American Museum of Natural History in Dr. Estefania Rodriguez’s molecular systematics lab. During his time at the AMNH, Craig worked on multiple molecular barcoding projects involving sea anemones and antipatharians (black corals). Funding for these projects was provided by City Tech’s Emerging Scholars Program and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP). Craig presented his research at the 6thInternational Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals in Boston, MA (2016) and at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, OR (2018). Craig has also contributed to an outreach blog: http://anthozoanuces.weebly.com/blog. In 2015, Craig participated in a research cruise to the FGBNMS aboard the R/V Manta (cruise DFH-28). Craig was awarded an NSF S-Stem Scholarship and in 2016 participated in a summer Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) at the AMNH. In 2018, Craig was selected to participate in the Partnership in Education (PEP) Program in Woods Hole, MA. PEP’s mission is to increase diversity and inclusion in science. At PEP, Craig deepened his understanding of global climate change from a global oceanographic perspective (including learning about the ocean’s role in adapting to rising temperatures) and learned new programming skills and languages. In collaboration with Drs. Heidi Sosik and Stace Beaulieu, Craig’s research focused on ciliate diversity along the coast of Martha’s Vineyard coastal observatory. Craig also participated in a research cruise aboard the R/V Tioga while serving as Chief Student Scientist.