We are excited to welcome our Spring 2023 Marine Conservation Interns to REEF! They will assist with education, outreach, events, and daily operations around the REEF Campus. Joining us this semester are:

Ben Chester: Ben graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in biochemistry and a double minor in computer science and statistics. He also competed on his college's varsity crew team for four years. Growing up, Ben spent summers in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and always had an interest in and love for ocean life. He decided to enter the marine conservation field after spending a summer conducting undergraduate research. He helped create and implement artificial reef balls for the Connecticut College shoreline. He also traveled to the British Virgin Islands assist with mangrove and coral restoration projects, like applying antibiotics to corals suffering from Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. Ben is excited to start his marine conservation career at REEF and jump headfirst into new opportunities.

Madasen Kasprisin: graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S.E. in chemical engineering. Her love for the ocean was sparked by childhood visits to the beach and aquariums. During college, she completed several internships related to her engineering major, but chose to take marine science classes whenever she could. She also did a short study abroad in the Galapagos Islands, where she took a marine science course focused on evolution and impacts of climate change on Galapagos species. In the future, she hopes to combine her chemical engineering degree with her passion for the ocean to create new solutions and technologies to address challenges in ocean conservation. She loves being outdoors, running, cooking, and going to the beach. She is excited to be in Key Largo and to contribute to the REEF team!

Emma Mendez: grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a B.A. in ecology & evolutionary biology and environmental studies, and a certificate in public health. During college, she conducted an independent study project on sea turtles at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL. She also worked as a teaching assistant for Principles of Ecology, which fueled her love for teaching science. Emma also spent a summer as an intern for the Stranding Investigations Program at Mote Marine Laboratory, which solidified her future career goal of working in marine conservation. Emma is excited to join the REEF team and looks forward to strengthening her scientific communication skills by working with local communities and helping to support citizen scientists.

For more information about the Marine Conservation Internship or to apply for an upcoming semester, visit www.REEF.org/internship.