We recently welcomed our Fall 2020 Marine Conservation Interns to the REEF Campus! During the next four months, they will support the REEF team by assisting with our marine conservation programs and non-profit operations. This semester’s interns bring a unique set of skills and interests to REEF. They include:

Dara Albrecht: Dara is studying environmental science with a concentration in biodiversity and conservation at Yale University. She is a first-generation Peruvian-American citizen, and has grown up advocating for the environment and fighting against environmental degradation and exploitation in Peru and in the US. Dara is involved with many environmental initiatives at college, including efforts for sustainable fashion, environmental education, and science research and publishing. Her favorite activity so far has been working as a science tour guide for the Yale Office of Admissions. Last summer, she interned for the Global Ecology Lab at the University of Sydney in Australia, where she studied scavenger behavior in the Australian desert. She has also been working to review a book about community-based conservation in Latin America, and will eventually be published as a reviewer when it goes to print! These experiences have strengthened Dara’s love for citizen science and environmental education, and she hopes to apply them to marine conservation through working with REEF to better improve conservation systems.

Melanie Farrell: Melanie is from Long Island, New York. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Maritime Studies and a B.A. in Geography. While at UConn she had the opportunity to work in the research department with Principal Investigators on budgets, contracts, and other important analytical duties. She also studied abroad through the School for Field Studies. During this time she lived and worked on the small island of South Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where she participated in invasive lionfish collection and dissection and seagrass health and abundance surveys. She also collected data to study populations of endangered Queen Conch inside and outside Marine Protected Areas. Melanie has also conducted research on the relationship between fishing gear selectivity and total length of Nassau Grouper caught by fishermen. In the future she hopes to become a dive instructor. This fall, Melanie is excited to combine her enthusiasm for the ocean with education and research.

Alyssa Fogel: Alyssa is from Columbus, Ohio. She is a senior at Otterbein Univeristy at Westerville, Ohio, where she is studying environmental science, biology, and Spanish. Her passion for marine science stems from her experiences at Forfar Field Station on Andros Island in The Bahamas. Forfar is an environmental education and conservation organization that offers field studies, dive trips, and sailing trips. She has returned to Forfar six times since her first trip in 2015, and hopes to continue to return each year for the annual volunteer week. Travel has always been an important part of Alyssa’s life. She has snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef and has also visited Malawi, Africa, as part of a travel course. Alyssa currently works at Goldfish Swim School, a children’s swim lesson facility, where she teaches valuable water safety skills. With REEF, she is excited to further develop her teaching skills by educating the public about threats to the ocean. She hopes to further her education by earning her master’s and doctoral degrees, with the goal of one day becoming a university professor. She is working on becoming scuba certified this semester, and plans to become a dive instructor later in her career.

Gabriela Tejada: Gabby is from Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from Boston College with a B.A. in Biology. While in college, she travelled to Key Largo and Mexico for courses and workshops in marine mammal veterinary medicine and conservation. Gabby worked at the Melbourne Zoo while studying abroad at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Working in a zoo-based conservation organization exposed her to the business operations and ethics of conservation, which she is eager to explore further. Gabby also interned with the New England Aquarium, where she worked to rescue and rehabilitate sick, injured, and cold-stunned marine mammals and sea turtles. After graduation, she was selected to participate in a highly competitive summer business management program where she was inspired to combine her passions for conservation and business. In the future, Gabby intends to continue her education by pursuing a dual MBA and MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management.

Our interns are a vital part of REEF and we couldn’t accomplish our work without them! For more information about the Marine Conservation Internship or to apply for an upcoming semester, visit www.REEF.org/internship.