Katie Day

Marine Biologist

“If you want to make any big changes for the environment, you need to have a huge group of people behind it. You need to make it so the public is aware, interested, and engaged.”


San Clemente, CA


United States Flag American

Average Work Week


When Katie Day says she helps protect the ocean, sometimes it’s hard to fathom how big that job is. As the staff scientist for the Surfrider Foundation, Day has to reckon with both rising world temperatures on the macro and blocked access to a single public beach on the micro. Basically, if it’s an issue that’s adversely affecting a coastal body of water, its health, or people’s ability to experience it, Day is on the job.

The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches, and the organization empowers local communities to take action to meet these ends. But there has to be a scientific basis to this advocacy, and that’s where Day comes in: using her myriad skills in the field of environmental science to address root causes of pollution, to name just one example, and translating problems and solutions back to the coastal dwellers who can take political or conservation action through tangible steps.

As Surfrider’s environmental scientist, Katie helps to ensure that local, regional, and national campaigns are grounded in and supported by the most recent and accurate scientific literature. Born and raised on a small island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Katie spent most of her childhood outside and on the water, and she now shares her passion to protect and enjoy coastal environments. With a Masters Degree in Environmental Science and Management, and a background in a range of fields, including life cycle analysis, climate policy, hydrogeomorphology, water quality, and habitat management, Katie takes a holistic approach to informing policies and programs. In addition to providing scientific support to 80 chapters across the U.S., Katie frequently contributes articles to Surfrider’s Coastal Blog, and also manages Surfrider’s coastal resource, Beachapedia. Hear more from the staff scientist in the video above.

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My Advice

Find the topic that inspires and excites you, that connects with your passions and expands your view of the world. Protect what brings you joy; it might end up leading you to your dream job.

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