All Hands on Deck!

One of the turtles getting his weekly measurements taken.
Finding individual turtles who need to be weighed and measured.

Hello! I suppose I should introduce myself. I’m Danielle, a new intern from Tufts. I am getting my master’s in Animals and Public Policy on the North Grafton campus. Unfortunately, my internship will only be for the month of January, but I’m learning a lot, very quickly. I’ve worked extensively with animals, but never with marine mammals or sea turtles before. Given my lack of experience and the brief duration of my internship, I assumed that I wouldn’t get to do much hands-on work with the patients at NMLC. I learned very quickly, however, that because they’re working on a non-profit’s budget, NMLC relies quite a lot on its interns and volunteers. Everyone pitches in, in a very real way, right from the start.

Heidi cleaning Kennedy’s pod.

On my first day at NMLC, I spent a few hours going over some training materials, and then I toured and observed operations in the hospital. The hands-on work started right up the next day. Under the supervision of hospital staff, and working with more experienced interns and volunteers, I was able to help weigh and measure, medicate, feed, and provide other treatments for the turtles. On my next hospital day, I had the opportunity to feed Kennedy, our juvenile harbor seal found stranded in New Hampshire this past October.

Of course, actually being in the same room with, and caring for, a wild seal and sea turtles has been amazing. They are all just as endearing as you imagine them to be. But I’ve also been so impressed with the skill and dedication of the interns and volunteers. Everyone has brought the expertise granted them by their varied backgrounds and thrown themselves into the care of these animals. I hope that I can continue to help as well, as a volunteer, when my internship has ended.



Posted by Danielle G.
Danielle is a Winter, 2015 Intern at the National Marine Life Center. She is working towareds a Master’s degree in Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University.