South Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Network

Experience Type: 
Student Employee
Date Participated: 
May, 2011 to May, 2013
Experience Description: 

I had the privilege to work with Dr. Young, who is the state coordinator for the Marine Mammal Stranding Network in South Carolina. Since May 2011, I have developed and updated content for the network website as well as the network's Facebook page. I also created statewide graphs on stranding data and fact sheets on the marine mammals that strand in the South Carolina coast which were made available on the SCMMSN website for educational purposes.

In the spring of 2012, I helped organize and run the Southeast Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network Meeting. During the meeting I had the pleasure to meet several marine mammal researchers and learn a lot about strandings, marine mammal health, and stranding response. Int he fall, I created display material for the network's exposition booth. We had the opportunity to join the Surfisde Beach Family Festival and the Huntington State Park Nature and History Day. During these events, I talked with the general public about marine mammals in our area and marine mammal stranding response. This past spring I help organize Marine Mammal Workshops for eco-tour operators.

For the past two years I had the opportunity to help Dr. Young's graduate students with their field work on dolphin photo-ID in Georgetown and Cape Romain. Aboard university boats, I collected water/air temperature, measured wind speeds and salinity, filled in the research sheets and took pictures for individual dolphin identification.  In 2013 I started my own masters program at Coastal and I still work with Dr. Young at the stranding network.

Comment: 

This internship gave me hands-on experiences where I can learn and grow professionally. It allowed me to use my creativity and knowledge to apply concepts learned in different classes in and off the field.