Maia McGuire grew up on the islands of Bermuda where she developed an interest in marine biology at an early age. She received a BS in marine biology from Florida Institute of Technology, and a PhD in marine biology from the University of Miami. In 2001, she joined the Florida Sea Grant Extension Program at the University of Florida where she served as a multi-county extension agent until July 2020. In 2015, McGuire was awarded a NOAA Marine Debris Outreach and Education grant to start the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project. This citizen science project’s goal is to raise awareness about the sources of and threats posed by microplastics in the coastal environment. Volunteers are collecting and analyzing coastal water samples around the state, as well as teaching people how to reduce their contribution to the plastic problem. Since July 2020, McGuire has served as Florida Sea Grant’s associate director for extension and education and UF/IFAS Extension’s associate program leader for marine and coastal extension.