by Tori Musumeci, CCRP Coordinator

I was in the lab, crowded around the lab table with the rest of the 4th grade campers, interns and research staff and I did not feel good. Unfamiliar black spots where swirling in front of my eyes and I was losing my hearing, next thing I know I’m waking up in my camp counselors arms. I fainted at the sight of my first eggectomy and that’s how it all started for me at The Wetlands Institute.  This did not deter me from attending Summer Nature Programs for multiple weeks for three years and returning as a junior volunteer for the next four years. My experience at TWI led me to study Marine Biology at Stockton University and return summer 2008 as a Coastal Conservation Research Program (CCRP) Intern.  As an intern, I had one of the best summers of my life working with Terrapins, Ghost Crabs, community engagement and making friends that I have kept in touch with.  During graduate school I worked for Stockton University raising headstarters and caring for injured adult female Terrapins. After graduation I worked in environmental consulting for 5 years and found that private industry was not my niche.  My love of conservation work has once again brought me home to TWI for another fantastic summer as the CCRP Coordinator. I am truly enjoying working with the research interns and seeing how TWI has progressed and grown since my last summer here.  The work at TWI has continued to resonate with me because of the long term dedication to research and how this positively influences community behavior and attitude. I am also, thankfully able to go through an eggectomy without fainting now.