Swimming with the fishes has a special meaning for Michelle Benedict, Aquarist, Educator and Fish Trainer at Dolphin Quest Oahu. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago her love of ocean life started at the Brookfield Zoo and Shedd Aquarium. Ms. Benedict has been working professionally as an aquarist for over 20 years.
After graduating with a major in Biology from Ripon College, WI, she went on to become first an Americorps Volunteer and later the Executive Director for the non-profit Poulsbo Marine Science Center in Poulsbo, Washington. For leading a team in recovery and display of a juvenile gray whale skeleton she won the Hood Canal Environmental Achievement Award.
After a short time in St. Louis, MO as Executive Vice President of a local aquarium she moved on to greener, bluer, and warmer, pastures. At Dolphin Quest Oahu, she manages a collection of over 150 fish in a natural outdoor environment, trains fish for husbandry and guest interaction, and oversees the education program.
An avid diver and fan of all things ocean she feels fortunate to have a career where she communes with the fishes every day. Having been involved with non-profits for over 10 years Ms. Benedict understands the value of volunteers and gives back to the community as Secretary for the Pacific Marine Life Foundation and as a Volunteer Docent at the Waikiki Aquarium.