Mote Marine Laboratory Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Program
My summer internship proved to be one of the most interesting and worthwhile experiences I have ever had.
During my time at the lab, each intern was responsible for completing field work accurately and efficiently.
Field work consisted of finding and identifying the turtle activity, taking the appropriate data and then marking off the areas where eggs were laid.
This was especially important during the month of June when we noticed the most amounts of turtles emerging.
Weather and unexpected absences sometimes lengthened the work day, but everyone persevered until the tasks were completed.
I did my best to learn the procedures well and am confident that I did a good job in the field.
My main personal goal was to experience various types of research by networking within my program.
I feel that I did a great job of accomplishing this by getting to know the staff and being active about finding additional learning opportunities.
For example, I borrowed a kayak from one of the staff and went on a trip with another intern through a mangrove habitat.
Also, I had the opportunity to work with turtles in the hospital, and help with dolphin research.
Additionally, I wanted to test my aptitude for research work.
I have aspired to be a marine biologist since 6th
After taking Marine Biology and Natural Resource Management classes at Furman, I felt prepared academically to be involved in marine conservation.
After this internship experience, I am so much more confident pursing marine conservation as a career path, knowing that my work won’t be merely a job, rather a lifelong commitment to a heartfelt passion.
Throughout the summer, my problem solving skills and ability to work with others improved significantly.
Every day, I encountered both scientists well versed on marine studies and tourists who knew little about turtles.
Working with both types of people helped me learn how to communicate the same information using different word choices and allowed me to act as both a student and a teacher.
The most rewarding aspect of this internship was that I had the opportunity to contribute to a reputable project important to the conservation of sea turtles.
It was the type of work that I enjoyed so much that it didn’t seem like a job.
During other summers, I have done hard manual labor for my pay and have not enjoyed doing so.
It was a freeing feeling to discover that there are jobs out in the “real world” where I can apply my both education and my passion and still pay my bills.
While I will most likely never get rich from being a conservation biologist, the aspect of doing what I love for the greater good is the payment itself.
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