Many of our visitors tell us when they come in that the National Marine Life Center is a place that they have driven by many times but never been inside. Like them, I knew very little about the treasures that lay inside the “big building with the whales on it.” That was, of course, until I started my internship with NMLC at the end of May. Although it is hard to believe, my internship at the National Marine Life Center has just about come to an end. Looking back on the past three months, the people I have worked with and the experiences I have had came together to create an extremely fun and valuable internship for me.
I came into this summer knowing relatively little about marine animals and even less about the care that they receive during rehabilitation. Luckily I was surrounded by people at NMLC who had quite a bit of experience in the field and were more than happy to share their knowledge. Every day I learned something new and interesting from the staff, volunteers, and other interns. I now know more about sea turtles than I know about myself and I will never again mistake a sea lion for a seal. The summer provided me with plenty of hands on experience as well. I have had opportunities to administer treatments to turtles, monitor seals on nearby beaches, and release fully rehabilitated animals back into the wild.
My internship has also given me the chance to educate the public on a variety of issues related to marine animal conservation and rehabilitation. Whether it was in our kids programs, Fins and Flippers and Marine Animal Mystery, or outside NMLC walls talking with interested festival-goers, there was always someone excited to learn about all the amazing things animals can do and how we care for them when they are in need. It was challenging but fun to design and implement the children’s educational programs, and it was great to see the kids enjoying and benefiting from the work that everyone at NMLC puts in. With audiences ranging from groups of preschoolers to groups of nursing home residents, the numerous tours I gave throughout the summer tested and broadened my public speaking skills. Just about every group of people that came through the doors brought a new challenge and a new opportunity to learn.
Thank you to all of the staff, volunteers, and interns who helped to make this such a great summer.
Posted by Brian Q.
Brian is a Summer, 2011 Intern at the National Marine Life Center.