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Seasider Spotlight: Esprit Saucier

Esprit Saucier, an associate professor in marine biology from Houston, Texas, shares about her life, pursuits, and interests.

Photo of Esprit Saucier
Photo by Bilguun Enkhbaatar

Name: Esprit Saucier

BYUH Employee since… 2017

My job at BYUH is… an associate professor in marine biology.

I grew up in… Houston, Texas

I’m currently working on… a project/experiment that changes the color of mole crabs (locally known as ‘sand turtles') to a non-natural color.

I had never heard of BYUH before, and it was my faith in the Lord that encouraged me to fill out an application for LDS Jobs online. Less than 24 hours later, I got an email from David Bybee from BYUH. The rest is history. I chose to teach at BYUH because… of how impressive it is that everyone, including me, came to the school because they were directed by the Lord.

My favorite thing about teaching is… the students. I see them evolve from these wide-eyed, “trying to figure it out” kids into these solid, driven, “I know what to do” people. As I see them go off into the world to do the things they want to be doing and to see that I played a small role in their path… that’s exciting.

My most cherished memory at BYUH… is my interview process to be hired here. The process involved me giving a teaching lecture to students I’d never met before. By the end, they gave me tickets to the PCC, and I had a couple of people who remembered me and said, “Oh, you taught my class today!” It made me feel counted like the Lord sees me and what I’m doing, what I want, and what I need. He did that by speaking through the students.

What sparked my interest in my field… was when I was in med school and I took an organismal diversity class. Learning about the different animals and their features was amazing. That’s when I decided to stop taking chemistry classes and take all the organismal classes I could.

Students don’t think I notice… when they’re looking up answers on their laptops. I can tell when they’re reading it off on their computer screen, whether it be Google or ChatGPT.

Saucier and her daughter.
Photo by Bilguun Enkhbaatar

You’ll never find me without… a cup of water.

When I have 30 minutes of free time… I read—a lot.

My favorite holiday is… when I don’t have to cook.

If I could travel anywhere, I would go to… the Amazon to see a freshwater dolphin, or New Zealand to see glow worms in a cave, or go off the coast of Colombia to see a whale shark. Basically, wherever there are cool animals.

One item on my bucket list is… to see all the cool animals, maybe a glacier before they melt or penguins in their natural habitat.

The last thing I watched on TV… was whatever my kids were currently watching.

I’m currently reading… The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict

The title of my autobiography would be… “It’s Only Awkward If You Make It Awkward”

My go-to comfort food is… marshmallows and hot chocolate.

The biggest challenge I’ve ever faced was… writing my dissertation while taking care of my newborn twins.

My most embarrassing moment… was showing up and teaching the wrong class for the first five minutes.

My favorite quote is… “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’re always going to get what you’ve always got.” – Henry Ford