by Danielle Meeker
With fond memories of being an Environmental Education Intern at The Wetlands Institute (TWI), it is with much excitement and fulfillment that I take on my new permanent role as Aquarist/Environmental Educator. As a longtime summer resident of Wildwood, interning at TWI combined my emerging passion for both Environmental Education and Marine Science and was a perfect fit for me. During my internship, I was able to develop and implement a project that was both personally and institutionally beneficial, while also honing the skills necessary to create successful education programs or initiatives. I was so proud to be an Environmental Education Intern because, in addition to learning from all of the staff, I was given the opportunity to share and interpret our beautiful landscape for all visitors to appreciate.
After my summer at TWI, I went on to graduate magna cum laude from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minors in both Chemistry and Leadership Studies. Leveraging my academic achievements and internship experience, I worked at The Virginia Living Museum in the Aquariums Department and at Bald Head Island Conservancy working for their Sea Turtle Protection Program. Most recently, I completed a service term working as a Husbandry AmeriCorps Member for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center providing wildlife rehabilitation to various chelonian, reptilian, and avian species. After working seasonally for some time, and with a desire to be closer to family, I began looking for opportunities back in the Northeast. My career journey took me from salt marshes to sandy beaches and, ultimately, back into the familiar and welcoming hands of The Wetlands Institute. It is good to be home.