Michelle Paddack, PhD
Professor Michelle Paddack’s passion is the ocean – being in it, sharing its beauty and secrets with others, and working to keep it healthy. At SBCC Dr. Paddack teaches Biological Oceanography, Marine Biology, Introductory Biology, Ecology, Seminars in Biology, Ecology of Morro Bay, Environmental Studies, and Methods in Field Biology. Most of her classes are designed for non-science majors because she loves to help people rediscover their curiosity, wonder, and understanding of life by reconnecting them to nature, and in the process, empowering them in whatever career path they choose.
In addition to teaching, Professor Paddack is an active research scientist, in which she involves many undergraduates. Her specialty is reef ecology (both coral reefs and kelp forests), with the primary goal of maintaining sustainable ecosystems. She explores the ecological interactions between fishes and their reefs that help support functioning marine ecosystems. She also works closely with fishermen and people who rely on the oceans across the world to blend the best of traditional cultural practices with education and modern science to support aware, sustainable, thriving communities. You can learn more about this at http://ulithimarineconservation.ucsc.edu/
Prior to her scientific career, she fulfilled another life dream and was a Principal Dancer with ‘Images of Cultural Artistry’, a Katherine Dunham–inspired professional dance company in Washington, D.C. She feels so honored to have achieved two dreams in her life and it is her goal to help people discover and achieve their own aspirations and see how their own passions can ripple out into supporting a vibrant, connected, healthy world.