We are excited to welcome our Summer 2023 Marine Conservation Interns to REEF! They will assist with education, outreach, events, and daily operations around the REEF Campus in Key Largo, Florida. Pictured from left to right are Carolyn Corley, Shalini Thinakaran, and Brian Chansky. Here's a bit more about them:
Carolyn Corley graduated in May 2023 from the University of San Diego with a B.S. in environmental and ocean sciences and minors in biology and environmental studies and policy. As a scuba diver, competitive swimmer, lifeguard, swim instructor, and marine biology student, Carolyn's life has always revolved around being in the water. In July 2021, she traveled to Utila, Honduras to intern for the Whale Shark & Oceanic Research Center where she gained experience working for an NGO, assisted with fish and coral reef monitoring, and helped with invasive lionfish removal and data collection. She returned to Utila in 2022 to earn her PADI Divemaster certification at the Bay Islands College of Diving. Over the past two years, she completed and defended her Capstone and Honors Thesis Research on invasive lionfish populations in Utila and the community’s involvement in lionfish containment efforts. As the Outreach Coordinator and Co-President for the Surfrider Foundation USD Club, she has planned beach cleanups and education events to raise awareness of coastal preservation and reduce single-use plastics. Carolyn is passionate about marine conservation, community outreach, and education, and she is excited to pursue these passions with REEF this summer.
Shalini Thinakaran is a rising junior at Vanderbilt University, majoring in Latin American studies and computer science. Her interest in marine conservation comes from growing up loving the beach and having the opportunity to become PADI Open Water Scuba certified through a scholarship program at 13. Shalini developed an interest in computer science after realizing that it could help her achieve her lifelong goal of working to break down socio-economic barriers and other forms of oppression. Through her internship at REEF, she hopes to learn about practices within marine conservation and take those skills to underrepresented communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental issues. Outside of school, Shalini is an organizer with the Tennessee Student Solidarity Network and helps organize her community in Nashville, specifically Latinx students and workers. She also works for the Power, Resistance & Identity in STEM Education (PRISM) research lab at Vanderbilt, where she analyzes the effects of being Latinx in college mathematics. She is excited about the opportunity to be an intern at REEF and looks forward to meeting the REEF community!
Brian Chansky is a rising senior at the University of Delaware, where he is pursuing a B.S. in marine science and a minor in organizational and community leadership. Brian fell in love with the ocean and marine life from a young age. His interest in marine conservation and education efforts was fostered through his classes and involvement in the Blue Hen Leadership Program (BHLP), where he was exposed to nonprofit management and leadership development. He has served as an intern for the Brandywine Zoo and Spur Impact, working on new program development. He also spent two years as a BHLP Peer Mentor and workshop leader for first-year students. Last summer he sailed across the Atlantic aboard a training yacht, and started off this year by volunteering in Puerto Rico on an alternative break service program focused on environmental justice. Brian enjoys outdoor activities like hiking or beach volleyball. He is excited to combine his interests in marine conservation and nonprofit work with the rest of the REEF team this summer!
For more information about the Marine Conservation Internship or to apply for an upcoming semester, visit www.REEF.org/internship.