Nina Sassano is UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s new marine educator and intern coordinator based at the UGA Aquarium on Skidaway Island. In her dual role, she will be teaching k-12 educational programming to visiting school groups and managing marine education fellows and summer interns.

“I am a naturally curious person,” said Sassano. “In this career, not a day goes by where I don’t learn something new along with the people I am teaching, which is as exciting for me as it is for the group I am leading. I could not think of a better way to spend my days, and I am thrilled to be on the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant team.”

Sassano has years of experience in public service, intern and volunteer coordination, and program development and management. She previously served as the volunteer and research coordinator for the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s MarineQuest k-12 outreach program, which involved developing research projects and recruiting, training, managing and supervising interns and volunteers.

Her passion for experiential learning and providing workforce development opportunities to student will serve Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant well as the program seeks to expand internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to coordinating schedules and providing professional training opportunities for new interns, Sassano will act as a mentor to support growth in their careers.

“Without experiences like volunteering and hands-on learning, I would not have grown in my career as I have, and it is my mission to help passionate community members, students, interns, volunteers, and people of all ages in the same way,” said Sassano.

Sassano grew up in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, which cultivated her love for the coast and interest in marine science. After earning her bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Stockton University in New Jersey, she moved to North Carolina where attended East Carolina University and obtained a master’s degree in biology.