WELCOME TO THE TEAM!
Our new fall 2020 interns are off to an incredible start. They've finished up all of their trainings and are in the groove of things already!
In this edition of Heads Up, we want to introduce these new team members. And if you're inspired to join us in our mission to restore coral reefs, keep reading to learn how you can apply for our Spring 2021 Coral Conservation and Reef Restoration Internship!
Growing up in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Gabrielle 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.
Lindsey is originally from Westchester County, New York. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in environmental science and sustainability from Roger Williams University. Lindsey has a lifetime enthusiasm for ocean conservation, and has wanted to be a marine biologist ever since she was in middle school. She has also always had a passion for wildlife, and has worked with bats in Australia and Belize, as well as with sea turtles in Hawaii and Florida. For the past five years, Lindsey has been a park ranger for the National Park Service at parks across the country, such as Arches and Zion National Parks in Utah, to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. She enjoys educating the public about conservation and inspiring a new generation of park stewards through her work as a park ranger.
She became scuba-certified in 2018 when she was traveling around Indonesia and the Philippines. This sparked a huge interest in scuba diving, which led Lindsey to become a divemaster in Utila, Honduras in 2020. In Utila, she also completed GoEco, a four-week program, where she learned about coral nursery maintenance, coral reef conservation, Project Aware, fish identification and coral reef monitoring surveys. She is excited to be an intern with Coral Restoration Foundation™ and to get hands-on experience in coral reef restoration while sharing her passion for the ocean through outreach and education!
Despite growing up in the landlocked state of Indiana, Elly always seemed to find her way back to the ocean. With yearly trips to Vieques, an island municipality of Puerto Rico, she fell in love with the reefs and most of all, took notice of their continuous degradation year by year. This instilled in her a passion for ocean conservation that still continues todays. A recent graduate from Indiana University, she received her B.S. in Environmental Science and a certificate in Underwater Resource Management. Her involvement with and support from the Center for Underwater Science at Indiana University further established her passion for marine conservation and underwater science. Throughout her undergraduate she spent time diving abroad in the Dominican Republic, working as a research assistant, and in Indonesia, where she completed her divemaster while studying shark conservation. After graduating in 2019, she took a job working with the nesting loggerhead sea turtles along the Georgia Coast. While she thoroughly enjoyed this work, her heart was longing to return to the ocean! Elly is extremely excited to join the CRF™ team and do her part in the conservation of our reefs.
Jeremy was raised in Deerfield, Illinois and spent countless hours in and on Lake Michigan sailing and scuba diving from a young age. His passion for the environment started in these days on the water, even inspiring him to become vegetarian at only eleven. His love of diving and the environment led to him becoming a Master Scuba Diver at age fifteen, and he subsequently volunteered at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for multiple years. His time there also ignited in him an avid sense of adventure and lasting love of travel. He graduated from Brandeis University with degrees in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. During his undergraduate studies, he got his feet wet in the world of underwater archaeology for the first time at a terrestrial and marine archaeological field school through the University of Georgia. He spent a semester abroad in Australia where he conducted research on rabbitfish while at the Lizard Island Research Station on the Great Barrier Reef. After graduating this May, Jeremy knew that he had to follow his passion for the environment and the underwater world so that he can begin making tangible, lasting impacts on the oceans and planet as a whole. This is what led him to CRF™. Jeremy is beyond excited to join the CRF™ family, participate in actionable restoration, and make good friends during his time here in the Florida Keys, both above and below the surface. In his spare time, Jeremy loves playing and watching all sports, including playing quidditch, listening to music, playing board games, reading, baking, and, of course, scuba diving and exploring the world around him.
Vanessa was born in Annapolis, Maryland and grew up on the Chesapeake Bay. She could often be found on the water kayaking, fishing, and exploring. She attended Salisbury University on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. While in school, she focused her research on the effects of local damming on migratory fish populations. During her time in school, she became scuba certified, started a scuba club, and lobbied for the creation of an Advanced Open Water class at the school that she then had the pleasure of taking. Studying abroad in Roatán, Honduras was the start of Vanessa’s underwater adventures. After graduating and some traveling, Vanessa and her dog, Cookie, moved to the fabulous Florida Keys. Living in the Keys allowed her to become a scientific diver with College of the Florida Keys. During nesting season, she can be found walking the beaches as a Sea Turtle Nest Surveyor. Vanessa was honored to work with dolphins before becoming an intern with Coral Restoration Foundation™. She enjoys yoga, hunting lionfish and paddle boarding with Cookie. Vanessa is excited to share her passion for the ocean and give back to her above and below water community.
Maggie Knight grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and has been fascinated by the ocean since she was a little kid. Her parents couldn’t keep her out of the water when they visited local rivers or the Gulf Coast. She became a certified diver when she turned 15 and has been in love with the underwater world since then. After completing her Divemaster program, Maggie worked for Family Dive Club in Birmingham, AL teaching middle and high schoolers how to dive as well as how to appreciate and conserve the ocean environment. She has been studying marine biology and coastal environmental science at Louisiana State University for the past three years. During her time at LSU, Maggie studied abroad in the Galapagos islands, conducted environmental toxicology research on rice herbicides in coastal Louisiana marshes, and spent two field seasons in Southeast Alaska studying the acoustic ecology of humpback whales. She is so excited to learn more about ecosystem-level restoration and conservation over the course of her time with CRF™! She plans on finishing her dual degree at LSU and then heading to veterinary school after the conclusion of her internship.
After completing her education, Maggie would like to pursue a career in global conservation of marine mammals. She would like to begin her career as a veterinarian working in the rescue and rehabilitation field and, at the culmination of her career, become a conservation activist blending veterinary medicine, research, art and advocacy to preserve the biodiversity that is currently seen in our oceans.
Born and raised in South Florida, Jack has always been fascinated by this state's local marine life, and as he aged he became passionate about protecting it. Shortly after graduating high school in 2015, he made an annual tradition of coming down to the Keys to dive and plant coral with the CRF™ once every summer. He earned a Bachelor's degree in biology from Florida Atlantic University, which included studying marine biology at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute through the university's Semester by the Sea program. He is beginning his career in marine conservation by becoming an intern at CRF™.
A recent graduate of Skidmore College, Tessa has 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 issues, something that she nurtured through her college studies and time in nature. 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.
Sami was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She enjoys skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, and playing guitar. She wanted to pursue a career in Marine Biology from an early age and learned how to dive in Hawaii in 2013 when she was 15. She started her studies at University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her experience studying abroad at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland was so amazing that she ended up transferring and completing a B.S. in Marine Biology. While abroad, she became a Rescue certified scuba diver and strengthened her scientific research skills. Sami spent two years diving on the Great Barrier Reef and was deeply affected by the beauty and importance of coral reefs. After witnessing and learning about reef degradation in Australia, the Caribbean, and here in the Florida Keys, she became passionate about marine conservation. Sami is excited to join CRF™ to share her love for corals and inspire others to protect them.
INSPIRED TO JOIN OUR TEAM? APPLY TODAY!
Launch your career with us! CRF™ Interns can expect to be challenged, mentored, and inspired, working with a dynamic team that is dedicated to helping them find their focus.
We're now officially accepting applications for our Spring 2021 Coral Conservation and Reef Restoration Internship! The application deadline is October 30, 2020, so apply today.
You can find detailed information about our internship including requirements and qualifications, here.
You can also see what some of our CRF™ Alumni are up to here. Please note that our internship positions are based in Key Largo, Florida.
"Heads Up" Editorial Intern
Maria, growing up in Seattle, knew from a very young age that she wanted to be an environmentalist. The vastness of the ocean and adventure embodied in marine conservation spoke to her the most, and this passion led her to travel the world to study sustainability, live on a boat for a short time, and receive her scuba certification before graduating high school. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies, where she gained experience in documentary filmmaking, coastal grant reviewing, and was connected with many other environmental and social activists. After being an educator for the last year, Maria is enthralled to be joining CRF™ as the first big step in her hopefully long career with environmental non-profits.