Cypress Hansen

Science, Interpretation, and creativity

Studying microplastic, larval ecology, and comb jellies as a marine biologist was thought-provoking and fascinating work. But when I got to share stories about my research with lab visitors and watch their faces light up with curiosity—those were my best days as a scientist.

In the years following this realization, I slowly pivoted towards science communication. I taught children marine science, guided my own nature tours on foot and by bike, wrote science news stories for local and national outlets, published my illustrations and photography, communicated science for the San Diego Natural History Museum, and more.

Today, I am the owner and operator of North Star Naturalist, providing immersive outdoor tours for curious locals and visitors in San Diego County.

I am a Certified Interpretive Guide with a B.S. in Marine Science from Eckerd College and a Master's from the highly regarded Science Communication Program at U.C. Santa Cruz.

My Past Lives...

Sifting through the contents of a plankton tow as a researcher with the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Getting to know coastal critters of the Monterey Peninsula as an independent tidepool tour guide

Assisting a catch-and-release rockcod study inside Point Lobos State Marine Reserve to discern long-term success of marine protected areas

Setting live traps for ringtail cats in the foothills of San Diego as part of a larger study aimed at preventing ringtail roadkill

Directing film shoots for research commercials shown in the San Diego Natural History Museum's Giant Screen theater.

Reporting on a week's worth of reptile surveys for The Nat from the hills above La Paz, Baja California Sur.

Recording on a Zodiac skiff for a radio segment about humpback whale stress during the 2020 global shutdown.

Participating in a deep-sea autonomous rover dive aboard the R/V Rachel Carson with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.