When I started research at Stanford, I studied how kelp forest ecosystems modify coastal currents and change ocean chemistry. I’m excited to combine this research with marine policy and think about how humans interact with these environments. In Mexico, illegal fishing accounts for 45-90% of total catch per year. The responsibility to monitor illegal fishing falls on the shoulders of local communities. My research will investigate the efficacy of infrared (IR) aerial imaging with commercial drones to automatically detect illegal fishing activity with machine learning. This research will be done on Isla Natividad in Baja, California. In addition to surveillance, the aerial imaging will also obtain high-resolution data of kelp forest coverage, growth, and seasonal variability. Not only can this method be scaled up regionally and across applications, but the relationship between scientists and fishing communities demonstrates the power to solve emergent global issues by working across disciplines and backgrounds.