Larisa Bennett grew up with a love for nature inspired by frequent trips out to the barrier islands on her uncle's boat at Harkers Island in North Carolina, as well as hikes with her dog Shadow in the woods behind her house. After a trip to Hawaii in the sixth grade, where she snorkeled and kayaked with sea turtles and dolphins, Larisa's passion for learning about the ocean was cemented. As an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Larisa majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Marine Science. During her sophomore year, she heard a talk given by Alexandra Cousteau which inspired her to pursue science communication as a career path. Currently she is a Master's student in Environmental Journalism at UNC Chapel Hill and a summer intern at the Ocean Portal. Being an intern at the Ocean Portal is the culmination of Larisa's hopes to combine her love and knowledge of oceanic science with her passion for communicating to people about the scientific and environmental issues that imperil our planet. Her ultimate life goal is to use her combined degrees to inspire and equip people to make informed decisions about the conservation of the earth. In her downtime Larisa likes to scuba dive, travel, horseback ride and dance.