Tag Archives: interns

Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant welcomes new educators

By: Emily Woodward

Four recent college graduates have been awarded one-year education internships with UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. Funded by Georgia Sea Grant, the interns will serve as educators for students, teachers and members of the coastal community.

The interns will spend 50 weeks on Skidaway Island at the Marine Education Center and Aquarium offering educational programs focused on the ecology of Georgia’s coastal and estuarine ecosystems. They will also participate in community outreach by attending events like CoastFest and Skidaway Marine Science Day.

They began their training in September just as Hurricane Irma was bearing down on the coast, which presented a unique opportunity for them to learn how to prepare the aquarium for evacuation. With Irma now in the rearview, the new educators get to shadow Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s faculty and staff and gain the skills they need to teach all of the classes offered at the center.

The interns are:

Isabella Espinoza graduated from Boston University with a degree in biology, specializing in behavioral biology. For the past two summers, she worked with the Brookline Recreation nature camp in Massachusetts. The camp focuses on local nature education for all ages and has an outdoor adventure component for the older age groups. She also worked as a learning assistant in a vertebrate zoology lab course at Boston University. The course focused on the adaptations and life histories of species from the major vertebrate groups (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals).

Victoria Green is from Ormond Beach, Fla. She graduated from Duke University with a degree in earth and ocean sciences and a certificate in Marine Science Conservation and Leadership. She studied at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C., and at Seacamp in the Florida Keys. Through these experiences, she’s learned to take complicated marine science topics and translate it into information that K-12 grade students can absorb.

Mandy Castro is from San Diego, Calif. She graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., with a degree in biological sciences and a minor in education and child studies. For the past three summers, she has been part of a team of Smith College student educators teaching marine science and conservation to local school children in Belize. While in Belize, she also collected data for her honors thesis, which focused on characterizing hard and soft corals of Mexico Rocks, a marine protected reef complex north of San Pedro.

Megan Wilson is from Salt Lake City, Utah. In high school, she began volunteering and interning at the Living Planet Aquarium, Utah’s only aquarium. She graduated from California State University in Long Beach with a degree in marine biology. In college, she conducted undergraduate research on the metabolic rate of the California horn shark. She also raised jellyfish while working for Sunset Marine Labs and acquired her environmental education skills while working in the education department at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Calif.


Georgia Sea Grant education interns arrive at the coast

Four recent college graduates have been awarded one-year marine education internships with UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. Funded by Georgia Sea Grant, the interns will serve as educators for students, teachers and the general public.

The interns will spend 50 weeks on Skidaway Island at the Marine Education Center and Aquarium offering formal and informal educational programs focused on the ecology of Georgia’s coastal and estuarine ecosystems. Interns also will participate in community outreach by judging science fair projects, teaching during science nights at local schools and participating in events, like CoastFest and Skidaway Marine Science Day.

The interns were selected from an international pool of applicants and began their training in September. They are Kira Krall from Saint Petersburg, Fla.; Hannah Kittler from Adams, Mass.; Hannah Edwards from Navarre, Fla.; and McKenna Lyons from Beachs Park, Ill.

2016-2017 Georgia Sea Grant Education Interns (from left to right): Hannah Edwards, Kira Krall, McKenna Lyons, and Hannah Kittler

2016-2017 Georgia Sea Grant Education Interns (from left to right): Hannah Edwards, Kira Krall, McKenna Lyons, and Hannah Kittler

Kira Krall graduated from the University Florida with a degree in natural resource conservation. While in college, she volunteered for two years as a school programs docent for the Florida Museum of Natural History. After graduation, Kira worked as a teaching assistant for the Duke Talent Identification program’s marine science summer camps and as an environmental education intern at the Conservancy in Southwest Florida.

Hannah Kittler attended St. Michaels College in Vermont. She majored in biology and minored in chemistry and environmental studies. After graduation she worked at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center for a year as an environmental educator and spent time as a technician in their wildlife and aquatics lab.

Hannah Edwards received a degree in environmental science and policy from the University of South Florida. Hannah worked as a student teacher in high school, hosting field trips and community outreach Programs focused on marine ecosystems. In college, she volunteered at Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, educating groups about organic farming, the biology and significance of the diverse Sweetwater plants, and the importance of environmentally-friendly and sustainable life choices.

McKenna Lyons graduated with a degree in marine and atmospheric science from the University of Miami in Florida. She worked as a naturalist at the Biscayne Nature Center, leading summer camp groups on fishing trips in the local seagrass beds. Lyons taught students how to identify marine life, gave presentations on sea turtle life history and discussed human impacts on aquatic environments.

MAREX intern class on campus

The 2015-16 class of Georgia Sea Grant interns has arrived at Marine Extension.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKayla Clark is from Old Chatham, N.Y. She recieved a B.A. in sociology with a minor in marine science from Smith College in Northampton, Mass.  Before coming to intern at Marine Extension, Kayla worked as an environmental educator for Coral Reef Ed-Ventures in San Pedro, Belize, the Alabama Four-H Center Science School, and the New York Aquarium.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJessica Hernandez grew up in Bakersfield, Calf. with, according to her, “the valley at her feet, a trio of mountain ranges in her backyard, and the ocean never more than a short drive to the west.”

She graduated from Pomona College last May with a B.A. in biology. Throughout college she had opportunities to research diet patterns of Chinstrap penguins; osmoregulation in Australian White’s tree frogs; homing behavior of northern spring salamanders; and the effects of urbanization on testosterone levels in male Western fence lizards. This summer she interned at the Bald Head Island Conservancy, where she was able to study and monitor Loggerhead sea turtles.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACaitlin Shea-Vantine is from Bridgeport, Conn. She graduated from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt. with a B.S. in biology. She is very interested in ichthyology and the effects of acidification and climate change. As an undergraduate, she spent a semester abroad studying marine life in the Galapagos Islands. Caitlin has previously held internships with the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Conn., the ECHO Lake and Science Center in Burlington, Vt. and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Her marine biology interests began at the Maritime Aquarium marine science summer camp.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesenia Feliciano is from Perth Amboy, N.J, and a 2015 graduate of Stockton University with a B.S. marine Science and a concentration in marine biology.  She worked a summer internship with the New Logic Marine Science Camp in New Jersey in the summer of 2014. In addition Yesenia also did  ROV peer mentoring for Philly Sea Perch last spring  for an underwater robotics course.

“Through these experiences and education, it has inspired me to go further into marine science education and outreach,” she said.  “My goal is to find new ways in helping the general public to become more educated about the marine environment and to find ways for the them to be more active in helping restore the environment as well.”

Savidge lab interns wrap up summer projects

Three summer interns from Dana Savidge’s lab completed their summer research internship by presenting a seminar on with a seminar on Friday, August 31st.

l-r) Liz Hughes, Dana Savidge, Danny Stouffer and Brianna Pierce.  Danny is holding an open ROV he built.

l-r) Liz Hughes, Dana Savidge, Danny Stouffer and Brianna Pierce.
Danny is holding an open ROV he built.

Danny Stouffer discussed “Intermediate Wave Characteristics and Open ROV.”  Danny returned to St. Mary’s College in Maryland.

Brianna Pierce, a rising sophomore at the University of New Haven, presented “Waves 2005-2010, Various Spots Around the US Coast.”

Liz Hughes’s presentation was “Data Analysis of Chlorophyll Levels in Response to Fall Weather in the South Atlantic Bight.”  Liz is a rising sophomore chemistry major at UGA.


Summer interns at Gray’s Reef

Three new interns are working at Gray’s Reef National  Marine Sanctuary this summer.

McIntyreNicole McIntyre is a senior at Georgia Southern University. She is a biology major with a focus on fisheries management. Her previous experience includes interning at Reef Relief in Key West where she produced weekly videos; created lesson plans for 250 Coral Campers; lifeguarded at the reef; and worked on conservation efforts and clean ups throughout the summer.

Yeckley wSean Yeckley is a graduate research intern. He is pursuing a masters in marine science degree at Savannah State University. He also has earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Georgia, a master’s in health science from John Hopkins University and an M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia (currently Georgia Regents University. His research interests include ocean acidification and climate change impacts on tropical and deep coral reefs; deep coral reef ecology; and surveillance and prevention of toxic algal blooms.

JonesJhalael Jones is a high school intern with a focus on marine technology. He is a student at Savannah Arts Academy, a public high school focused on the liberal arts. His program of study is communications. He is interning at Gray’s Reef because of his interest in robotics and film. His project there includes building ROVs for use at public festivals and education events.

Skidaway Institute summer interns on board

Skidaway Institute’s summer interns have arrived.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGiovanna Sayuri Azarias Utsumi is a Brazilian student, participating on the new Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP).  Through that program, she had the opportunity to study oceanography for two semester at Florida Institute of Technology. She is interning in Aron Stubbins’ lab.

Before coming to the U.S., Giovanna studied science and technology of the sea, a interdisciplinary major with emphasis in the ocean, at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP). She is in her third and last year. She plans to graduate on the end of this year. After graduation she plans on getting a second degree in petroleum engineering and renewable energy.

“The summer internship in Skidaway Institute of Oceanography is a great opportunity for laboratory experience and for my future,” she said. “I intend to apply all the knowledge and experience acquired here in my country.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Leticia Silva is a second scholarship recipient from the BSMP.  She is studying biological sciences at the Federal University of Uberlandia. She also completed two semester at the University of Arkansas through the scholarship program. After graduation, Leticia plans to get a master’s degree and work with research. She is also interning in Aron Stubbins’ lab.

“I hope to learn a lot here at the Skidaway Institute and I feel very lucky to be here,” she said. “I came to USA to learn as much as I can, and that is what this internship means to me: an opportunity to learn and grow as a student and as person.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The third intern in Aron’s lab is Courtney Bahrs. Her journey to Skidaway Institute was considerably shorter. Courtney is a senior at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Ga. Her major is biology, with a minor in chemistry. Courtney also has a softball scholarship. She plans to graduate next May.

“I am not quite sure what my next steps are but I am planning on getting my master’s and eventually a Ph.D.” she said.

Danny Stouffer is an intern with Dana Savidge. Danny Stouffer is a physics major with a math minor at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He plans to go to graduate school to earn his master’s in marine engineering.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“So far I love the campus. It has great scenery and the faculty are really nice and welcoming,” he said. “I have been enjoying my time both inside and outside the office. Savannah offers a lot of activities to keep me busy.”

Sea Grant interns aim for grad school

Two Sea Grant/MAREX interns plan to enter graduate school later this year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaeve Snyder will pursue a M.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Her anticipated research will focus on the effects of climate on the biogeography of marine intertidal invertebrates.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACara Lin will enter the Doctoral program at Georgia Tech for a Ph.D. in Biology with a concentration in ecology and evolution. Her interests are in aquatic chemical ecology