Following Their Dreams

Dr. Eric Jensen ('90) & Dr. Abby McClain ('16)

How did a pair of College of Veterinary Medicine graduates wind up working together in the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program in San Diego? It sure wasn’t a straight path. For Eric Jensen, his journey to becoming a marine mammal veterinarian began at age 6 or 7. “My dad took me to a mall parking lot where a group had set up a pool and were charging admission to see a dolphin,” Jensen recalls. “When I looked in, the dolphin was just floating, and I thought ‘someone needs to take care of that animal.’ Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that dolphin. I kept going back and thinking, who was taking care of those animals?” Abby McClain started her journey to the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program just as young. “I’ve always had a love affair with the ocean,” she says. “Instead of boy band posters growing up, I had surfing posters.”