We’re excited to introduce our Summer 2020 Marine Conservation Interns. These individuals will support the REEF team by assisting with our marine conservation programs and operations at REEF Headquarters. This semester’s interns bring a unique set of skills and interests to REEF. They include:

Stephanie Letourneau: Stephanie is from Frederick, Maryland. She earned a B.S. in environmental science from Juniata College. Her passion for science education began when she was an environmental education intern at the Audubon Naturalist Society. She has also interned at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, researched habitat quality and biotic health in streams in central Pennsylvania, and participated in a residential semester on Raystown Lake at Juniata’s Field Station, studying aquatic ecology. Stephanie also studied marine ecology during a semester abroad in the Galapagos Islands. Additionally, she completed an internship at the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, where she created educational resources for teachers based on marsh stewardship research. Stephanie's goal is to pursue a career that allows her to connect society with local ecosystems. She is excited to work with REEF to gain more experience in marine outreach and conservation, and advance her scuba diving skills.

Natasha McCluhan: Natasha is studying marine science and coastal management at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. She volunteered at the Georgia Aquarium in high school and eventually completed an internship with the Aquarium's dive operations department. Afterwards, she traveled to Melbourne, Australia, for a summer where she interned for an environmental nonprofit called Earthwatch. She has also worked as a camp counselor at SeaWorld Orlando, where she got the opportunity to connect kids to the oceans by showcasing animal ambassadors. Natasha recently she took a trip abroad with Eckerd College to explore Cuba’s Gardens of the Queens marine protected park where she participated in fish surveys while gaining experience in underwater photography. Natasha is particularly interested in marine conservation management, including issues like the shark fin trade, sustainable fisheries, and the establishment of marine protected areas, and she hopes to channel these passions during her internship with REEF.

Emily Wheat: Emily is from Amelia Island, Florida. She graduated from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in marine biology and is currently pursuring a Masters of Professional Science at the University of Miami. While in college, she participated in a project to test the effects of herbicides on phytoplankton. After graduation, Emily worked as an on-board marine biologist for an ecotourism company, field instructor for a marine biology camp for children in grades 3-12. These opportunities helped Emily realize her passion to educate those around her about the marine environment. In graduate school, Emily has learned about topics including shark ecology and conservation, marine conservation outreach, and geographic information systems. After graduation she wants to continue working in the outreach realm, focusing her efforts on educating children and promoting outdoor and hands-on learning, and hopes to incorporate her love of scuba diving into the work she does. Emily is excited to intern with REEF and continue blending her passion of diving with educating others about the wonders of the ocean.

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.