Diving Into Work, from an Aquarium to Coffee

Lisa Keyte pauses in front of a tank at Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium

Lisa Keyte poses with one of her animals on her last day of working at Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium. Ketzel Levine, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ketzel Levine, NPR
 Keyte and others collected anemones

On a dive at Port Orford reef on the coast of southern Oregon, Keyte and others collected anemones. Lisa Keyte hide caption

itoggle caption Lisa Keyte

Lisa Keyte is about to reinvent herself through her work. For the past seven years, she's been a curator at Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium, where she helped transform the home of Keiko the killer whale into a surreal tour of life beneath the sea. But all that's about to change, as Keyte dives into her new job — as a coffee roaster.

Keyte has been diving among the gulls and sea lions on Oregon's coast since she was 12. But now she's moving on. As part of our Take Two series on people reinventing themselves through work, NPR's Ketzel Levine visited Lisa Keyte on her last day at the aquarium.

While Keyte plans to volunteer at Oregon Coast, she'll spend most of her time at the Cape Foulweather Coffee Company — a job she says she's "pretty jazzed about," fittingly enough. And the name suits her passions: Cape Foulweather is north of Newport on Oregon's central coast.

Her new career as a coffee-roaster — she used to roast for fun — is a strategic economic move, says Keyte. Working with fish and animals, she has not made more than $24,000 a year. Keyte and her business partner have modest expectations: enough income to live on, travel a little, possibly open a 401 (k) — and still be able to hang the "Gone Diving" sign on the door when the Pacific calls.

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