Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant is hosting 19 summer interns who are working with staff and faculty in Brunswick, Athens, and Savannah on a variety of research, education and extension initiatives. This cohort of undergrad and graduate students represent a multidisciplinary pool of talented students who will gain experience in everything from preparing communities to be more resilient to coastal hazards to studying estuarine food web dynamics along the Georgia coast.
Summer internships with Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant are critical to enhancing environmental literacy and workforce development in the coastal region. Seven of the internships were made possible thanks to support from Friends of the UGA Aquarium, and two of the interns are supported through Sea Grant’s Community Engaged Internship program.
Jeff Beauvais is from Savannah, Ga. He is a fifth year Ph.D. student in the integrative conservation and ecology program at the University of Georgia. His work focuses on environmental justice, access to marshes and tourism along the South Carolina coast. Beauvais is completing an internship with the Georgia Climate Project focused on communicating climate change impacts to general audiences. When not working in ArcMap or writing, you can catch him kayaking or biking throughout Savannah.
Yazmine Callan grew up in coastal Georgia. She is a rising senior at the University of Georgia where she is studying environmental economics and management. Callan is participating in the Community Engaged Internship program and will be working on resilience-related projects, including the Georgia Climate Project and Glynn County Superfund project.
Chandler Calmer is originally from Michigan and currently lives on Saint Simons Island, Ga. He attends the College of Coastal Georgia where he is majoring in biology and minoring in environmental science. Calmer hopes to become a fisheries biologist in the future. This summer, he is interning as one of two juvenile fish monitoring interns.
Michaela DiGiovanni is a student at the University of Georgia where she is majoring in fisheries and wildlife. Originally from Savannah, Ga., this summer DiGiovanni will serve as a resilience intern, working on projects that help communities build environmental, economic and social resilience to weather and climate hazards.
Sarah Gregory is from Griffin, Ga. She is a rising senior at the University of Georgia where she is majoring in biology with an emphasis in marine science. As a UGA Aquarium science intern this summer, Gregory will work with husbandry staff to maintain, feed, and care for all of the animals at the aquarium.
Britney Hall, from Gainesville, Ga., is a rising senior at the College of Coastal Georgia. She is majoring in Environmental Science with minors in biology and geology. This summer she is one of Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s juvenile fish monitoring interns. She will help with conducting monthly fish sampling at three different sites along the Georgia coast. Britney likes to spend her free time fishing and exploring the outdoors.
Olivia Hughes is from Summerville, S.C. She is a rising junior at Wofford College where she plays soccer and is majoring in biology. Hughes hopes to become a fisheries biologist. This summer, she is participating in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at Savannah State University, which provides three weeks of classroom, field and lab work to build technical, scientific and communications skills. As part of the program, she is interning at the UGA Shellfish Research Lab where she will be spending most of her time in the hatchery evaluating oyster growth and survival in a bottle upweller based on different flow rates.
Hayley Hunter, from Ball Ground, Ga., is a rising senior at the University of Georgia where she is majoring in international affairs and earning certificates in global studies and sustainability. She is working as a communications intern this summer and assisting with the promotion of projects led by faculty and staff at UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant through the program’s website and social media channels.
Jenna Hunter is from Fort Smith, Ark. She is majoring in marine science at the University of South Carolina. After she graduates in December of 2021, she plans to attend veterinary school and pursue a career in zoological medicine. Hunter will intern in the Shellfish Research Lab this summer, working alongside the researchers in the hatchery and assisting with field experiments focused on oyster aquaculture and restoration.
Charlotte James is a rising sophomore at Davidson College in N.C. where she is majoring in biology and minoring in environmental studies. As a resilience intern this summer, James will be assisting Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s Coastal Resilience Specialist on projects examining and promoting the resilience of coastal communities in Georgia. James is from Pittsburgh, Penn.
Lily Kostka, from Decatur, Ga., is a sophomore at Kennesaw State University where she is majoring in psychology and minoring in German. Kostka loves to be outside and work with kids, as she has done throughout high school and college. She is interested in a degree in child psychology. This summer, she will be a summer camp intern at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium.
Rebecca Malkewicz is from Bluffton, S.C. She recently graduated from the University of South Carolina in Beaufort and is excited to start a career focused on marine conservation. This summer, Malkewicz will be interning at the UGA aquarium, learning how to care for ambassador animals and engage with visitors at the facility.
Rashawn Merchant is from Kennesaw, Ga. He is a rising senior majoring in environmental economics and management at the University of Georgia. Merchant is interning with the stormwater program where he will be developing a green infrastructure plan to better improve stormwater management in the City of Brunswick.
Hunter Molock is a rising senior from Dallas, Texas, and is currently attending Savannah College of Art and Design where she is studying for her B.F.A in Animation and Publication Design for Illustration. She is passionate about children’s education and conservation and hopes to go into children’s book publishing. This summer, she is a communications intern and is primarily working on a series of signs and kiosks for a wetland conservation trail at an elementary school on St. Simons island, Ga.
Hannah Mone is originally from North Carolina, but grew up in Marietta, Ga. She is majoring in ecology and biology with a marine emphasis at UGA. After graduation, Mone hopes to work at the intersection of environmental sciences and policy making to influence change. This summer, she will be working on a National Science Foundation project with Marine Extension and Sea Grant to create a web display of coastal, ocean and marine career paths to highlight the diversity of these career opportunities.
Lora Nedza is from Watkinsville, Ga. She is a fourth-year student at the University of Georgia where she is majoring in political science and pursuing her Master of Public Administration. After graduation, she is looking forward to combining her passions for policy analysis, social justice and environmental protection. Over the past semester, she has worked with the communications team as a Public Service and Outreach Scholar and is looking forward to continuing her public relations projects this summer.
Ellen Otterbach is from Atlanta. She is attending the University of Miami where she is majoring in marine affairs and minoring in entrepreneurship, sustainable business and French. Otterbach plans to graduate in 2024. This summer she will be working as a microplastics intern, conducting research to identify various types of microplastic content in Georgia’s coastal waterways.
Arlyn Santiago is from Columbus, Ga. She is a second-year environmental health science major at the University of Georgia. Santiago is a Community Engaged Intern. This program aims to broaden participation of underrepresented individuals and communities in ocean, coastal and marine sciences. She will be working with UGA researchers Jeb Byers and Marc Frischer on a project looking at the impacts of black gill disease on Georgia shrimp.
Madison White is from Temple, Ga. She is a junior at the University of Georgia where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in ecology with certificates in environmental education and sustainability. She will be working as a summer camp intern, teaching students ages 6-14 about coastal Georgia through hands-on experiences during Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s week-long summer camps at the UGA Aquarium.