We’re excited to introduce our Fall 2019 Marine Conservation Interns. These individuals will support the REEF team in mission-oriented tasks and daily office operations at REEF Headquarters, as well as play an integral role in our annual four-day event REEF Fest, as well as the Upper Keys Lionfish Derby and Festival and other education and outreach opportunities throughout the semester. They will also have the chance to scuba dive, conduct fish surveys, and volunteer with environmental organizations in South Florida and the Florida Keys. This semester’s interns bring a unique set of skills and interests to REEF. They include:

Julia Brooks from Satellite Beach, Florida: Julia graduated from Saint Leo University with a B.S. in Marketing. While in college, she started an environmental club and campaigned for recycling on campus. She has interned with the City of Satellite Beach Sustainability Board, where she has helped create and promote stormwater enhancement projects for the Indian River Lagoon, hosted environmental workshops and managed the board's social media presence. This fall, Julia is excited to meet and network with professionals in the marine conservation industry.

Maya Ganapathy from Portage, Michigan: Maya attended Michigan State University and received her B.S. in Behaviorial Neurosciences with a Minor in Anthropology. While in college, Maya interned at a zoo, conducted ecology research, and interned at the South African Shark Conservancy, which solidified her desire to become a marine biologist. After graduation, Maya interned in the Fishes Department at Shedd Aquarium, allowing her to learn about a variety of fish and the different diseases that occur in marine environments. This semester, she looks forward to learning about nonprofit management and participating in community outreach events.

Dylan Heppell from Corvallis, Oregon: Dylan is a second-year student at Oregon State University, studying Environmental Sciences. He is working with REEF for a month before returning to college this fall. During his time in Key Largo, Dylan is working on a variety of tasks within the Invasive Species Program, including assisting with fieldwork on lionfish research dives, helping with the Upper Keys Lionfish Derby, and reviewing underwater videos of lionfish to look for interesting behaviors associated with sound-producing instruments. After finishing school, Dylan hopes to return to REEF for a full semester-long internship!

Andrew Ibarra from Lake Worth, Florida: Andrew attended Florida State University and majored in Environmental Science with minors in Mathematics and Biology. He completed an internship with the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, assisted with graduate research on gastropod reproduction and ecology, and conducted nighttime sea turtle surveys on St. George Island, FL. As a REEF intern, Andrew is excited to volunteer with other local organizations, continue broadening his experiences, and help further REEF's mission to engage the public.

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