WELCOME OUR NEW EDUCATION PROGRAM INTERN
A big welcome to our Summer 2021 Education Program Intern, Gabrielle! Growing up in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Gabrielle has been passionate about wildlife conservation since she can remember. She became SCUBA certified at 10 years old, introducing her to the wonders of the ocean and became a PADI Instructor after graduating from college. Gabrielle received a BA in Environmental Studies - Ecology & Conservation from the University of Vermont. A semester of her studies was spent in the Turks & Caicos Islands at the School for Field Studies - Center for Marine Resource Studies, further growing her passion for marine conservation and diving. Since then, she led a non-profit marine conservation organization in Caye Caulker, Belize, as the project coordinator. Gabrielle hopes to continue devoting her life to marine conservation and working with non-profit organizations like Coral Restoration Foundation™.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON VIRTUAL TEACHING
During the month of April, Gabrielle got a jump start on working in our Education Department. Once a week, Gabrielle taught our Virtual After School Program for a wide range of ages and covering topics like coral restoration and coral reef ecosystems. All activities were originally designed for in-person interaction, challenging Gabrielle and her fellow interns to develop a brand-new take on some of our classic hands-on learning activities. Gabrielle redesigned the lessons to use common household items. This meant that, even through a screen, students were engaged and could replicate the activities in the future with their friends and families!
A homemade coral reef makes our Virtual After School Program active, fun, and informative! ©Gabrielle Rosenbacher/Coral Restoration Foundation™
The students weren’t the only ones coming away from this experience with a newly invigorated coral passion. As each week built upon another, Gabrielle grew out of her comfort zone, learning more about how to educate in an exciting way.
She mentions, “I came away from this experience as a more confident speaker and educator, especially on screen. At times I felt as if I were on a TV show, presenting live to an audience, with the potential for technical difficulties, having to be prepared for anything. I was sad to see the program come to a close but hope the materials can continue to educate in the future!”
EARTH DAY IN NAPLES
April is Earth Month which means life at CRF™ was buzzing! The month culminated with multiple events to celebrate our planet on Earth Day! We led a restoration dive program in Key Largo, hosted 3 educational outreach booths, taught virtual classes on coral ecology, and made our way up to Naples, Florida for the Community School of Naples’ incredible Earth Day celebration.
Students enjoy Earth Day celebrations at The Community School of Naples. ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
This event had many representatives from environmental organizations, including Rookery Bay, the Audubon Society, and local Park Rangers. Two interns attended the event, one working a booth and one giving presentations in the school’s theater. Many students were already aware of Coral Restoration Foundation™ and showed incredible interest in the work that we do.
Many of our interns have gone on to do amazing work in the field of marine science. You can see what some of our CRF™ Alumni are up to here.
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"Heads Up" Editorial Intern
Growing up in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Gabrielle Rosenbacher has been passionate about wildlife conservation since she can remember. She became PADI certified at 10 years old in the Koh Pi Pi Islands in Thailand. Gabrielle received a BA in Environmental Studies - Ecology & Conservation from the University of Vermont. A semester of her studies was spent in the Turks & Caicos Islands at the School for Field Studies - Center for Marine Resource Studies, further growing her passion for marine conservation and diving. Following university, Gabrielle lived in the Canary Islands, where she received her Divemaster and PADI Instructor qualifications, as well as numerous specialty certifications. Since then, she led a non-profit marine conservation organization in Caye Caulker, Belize, as the project coordinator. Gabrielle would like to continue devoting her life to marine conservation and working with non-profit organizations.
"Coral Chronicles" Editorial Intern
Tessa Markham is a recent graduate of Skidmore College, with a BA in English and Environmental Studies. She grew up in Wilton, in southwestern Connecticut, but spent her summers growing up either hiking and camping in the woods or swimming and sailing on the water. She has always been passionate about climate change and conservation. Diving for the first time in 2014 while taking a marine conservation course in the Caribbean leeward islands, she quickly amassed dives and got her PADI Instructor certification just three years later. Just after completing her instructor training, she spent nearly a month on the Yucatan Peninsula conducting research on their reefs, looking at the ratio of soft versus stony coral death. She later channeled her distress at the degradation of the reefs to write a short story about coral bleaching, which was published in Volume 5 of the Oakland Arts Review in 2020. Her capstone thesis built on this theme and she wrote a collection of four creative short stories that detail and exemplify climate change-induced environmental damage through a narrative lens. She aims to combine her degrees and experiences to make a career in science communications, making research and conservation accessible to everybody.