by Dani Meeker, Aquarist & Environmental Educator

Still clad in waders, Wesley smiles after a fun afternoon seining in Scotch Bonnet Creek

Each school year, The Wetlands Institute (TWI) partners with Lower Cape May Regional High School’s Structured Learning Experience Program. This program allows students to step inside local businesses and organizations to gain the experience needed to bolster a future career in their chosen field. This year, TWI is proud to host Wesley Wise, a senior at Lower Cape May Regional High School, as an Aquarium Intern. Every afternoon during the school week, Wesley volunteers in the Aquarium, performing duties that include cleaning turtle and fish tanks, collecting food and display animals, and feeding animals. Below is a brief interview with Wesley that explores his passion for marine science and his experience here at The Wetlands Institute.

Q: What interests you most in marine science?
A: The sea creatures! I love finding out what makes them unique. How they hunt and find prey and how they defend themselves.
Q: Describe your experience working with animals before starting at The Wetlands Institute.
A: My Dad and I collect some local fish and keep a small salt water aquarium. I also have two crested geckos. My Dad has eleven chickens… [and] my parents each have a dog that I help with; a lab, Louie, and a dachshund, Benson.
Q: What is your favorite marine animal?
A: Octopus!
Q: What do you like best about interning at The Wetlands Institute?
A: I like that I can see a future for myself in what I am learning at The Wetlands Institute. My favorite thing to do in the Aquarium is feed the horseshoe crabs.
Q: What do you hope to take away from this experience?
A: I hope to learn skills that I can use in future jobs. One day I hope to work as an Aquarist or at an organization like The Wetlands Institute.