Posts Tagged 'national aquarium internship'

Thoughtful Thursday: Students Use Their Summer to Dig Deep Into Conservation

Blog-Header-ConservationExp

Each summer, the National Aquarium provides minority undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in hands-on conservation science activities focused on wetland ecology and marine animal rescue! In addition to providing extraordinary opportunities for hands-on learning, this program addresses the need for greater representation of minorities in the conservation and environmental science fields.

minority student internship program

Throughout their internship, students are encouraged to participate in experience-building opportunities for future careers that involve current issues of coastal ocean and conservation management and will have the opportunity to work with our staff and partners that are actively engaged in conservation, research, and management issues. Since 2003 this program has supported 45 students, and of the 35 students that have graduated, 22 have gone on to pursue a career in conservation science.

Our 2013 class included: Renesha Chiles (Chemistry Major at Virginia Union University), Fatima Castro (Biology Major at Virginia State University), Matthew Eicholtz (Environmental Science Major at University of Maryland College Park), and Mia Price (Biology Major at Virginia State University). Over eight weeks students worked with Aquarium staff from our Biological Programs Department including: herpetologists, horticulturalists, aquarists, volunteer divers, marine mammal trainers, laboratory technicians, and veterinary staff.

They also participated in educational outreach activities, wildlife training, and animal husbandry with Aquarium partners including: MD Department of Natural Resources, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Living Classrooms Foundation, National Park Service, MD Environmental Service, Department of Defense, Biohabitats, US Fish and Wildlife Service, MD Port Authority, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Activities with partners included:

  • Restoring a tidal wetland at Naval Support Facility Indian Head and Stump Neck Annex (Indian Head, MD)
  • Osprey banding at Patuxent River Park (Upper Marlboro, MD)
  • Shark tagging (Ocean City, MD)
  • Restoring a fresh water wetland with elementary, middle and high school students (Horeheads and Elmira, NY)
  • WOW! The Wonders of Wetland’s education outreach training (St. Michael’s, MD)
  • Invasive species removal at Cylburn Arboretum (Baltimore, MD)
  • Debris cleanup and wetland restoration at Masonville Cove Environmental Educational Center (Baltimore, MD)
  • Necropsy of a harbor porpoise (Oxford, MD)
  • Sea turtle release (Scotland, MD)
  • National Aquarium Animal Rescue outreach event at Seacrets Jamaica USA (Ocean City, MD)
  • Construction of Floating Wetland Islands (Baltimore, MD)

At the conclusion of the summer students report on their experiences and the value of this type of opportunity. If you are interested in seeing their presentation, click here.

One student best summed up her experience with the following; “The internship was super awesome! I really enjoyed the opportunity and I miss you all very much. I shared the detail of my 8 weeks with my close friends, family, and colleagues. They were please to hear I enjoyed myself. The conservation team, including aquarium staff, really helped me make my final decision in what I want to do for graduate school; herpetology. This program was so diverse that it opened my eyes to all areas of science. I’m considering doing conservation volunteer work in the future whatever part of the world I am in.”

The Aquarium will continue to maintain contact with all participants following them on their career path and offering support through recommendations and job opportunities in the conservation field.

The program was supported by the Dillon Foundation, Rosenbloom Foundation, PPG Industries, and Darden Restaurants.

Blog-Header-LauraBankey

What It’s Like to Intern at the Aquarium: Part 2

by Morgan Randall, Digital Marketing Intern

Previously, you met an Aquarist and Events & Promotions intern, but there are still many more aquarium internship opportunities available to students regardless of their major.  These next three interns are proof of that!

Lindsay Magill

MARP

Lindsay is a sophomore at Oregon State University majoring in zoology.  She came to the National Aquarium, Baltimore, for both experience and college credit.

Lindsay works with the Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP), which specializes in rescuing marine animals in distress.  So far, she has not received any hands-on experience with rescuing these animals because there haven’t been any in need of rescuing.  In fact, this has been the case for the last couple of months.  Despite this, she is learning the protocol that goes along with rescuing these animals so if one does need rescuing, she will be ready.  After getting her Bachelor of Arts degree in zoology, Lindsay hopes to get her master’s in marine biology.  She says that she would want to work with MARP (or something similar) in the future.

Melanie Moscoso

Marketing, Community Affairs

Melanie is a senior at Notre Dame of Maryland University majoring in business with a focus in marketing and a minor in entrepreneurship.  She is an international student from Ecuador and compares the National Aquarium to a sort of Disneyland.  She knew that the aquarium would provide her with an interesting experience so she decided to apply for an internship.

Melanie helps out at an event

Melanie is responsible for researching and assisting in the planning of events at the aquarium.  This includes contacting performers, musical artists, and dancers for an event.  One group of events that she has been helping with is the Cultural Series, which is a series of events between October and March dedicated to exploring, experiencing, and celebrating cultures around the world.  For the Latino Heritage event in October, in particular, she says that her Spanish background helped her connect with some of the performers she contacted.  Melanie’s career aspiration is to become brand manager of a major sports retail company, because she loves sports.

Chrystal Smith

Publications 

Chrystal is a senior at UMBC majoring in graphic design and photography.  She applied to the National Aquarium expecting a fun and interesting experience that fit into her major, but is getting even more than she expected out of the internship.

Chrystal at her desk

Aside from working on projects such as creating the teacher booklets for education outreach programs and making event flyers, she has learned some essential skills that will help her in the professional world.  To name a few, she is learning how to stay organized, work with other graphic designers and departments, and is experiencing what it’s like to work in a professional environment (something she had yet to do before interning at the aquarium).  Chrystal is looking forward to having more content for her portfolio after interning with the organization.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of our What It’s Like to Intern at the Aquarium series!

Interested in interning at the National Aquarium? Learn more here.


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