I'm happy to welcome the newest member of the WDC team, Saya Butani, who is this year's Conservation Outreach intern! Saya had an action-packed first week where she attended a stakeholder meeting and went on her first ever whale watch! She is already putting her creativity skills to good use by developing promotional material for WDC's safe boating programs. We are so happy to have her with us and can't wait to see all that she accomplishes this summer!
Meet Saya Butani!
Hometown: Herndon, VA
Favorite food: Pad Thai
Song that pumps me up: Higher Love by Kygo and Whitney Houston
Show I can always rewatch: New Girl
First concert: Fall Out Boy
Tell us the story of what sparked your interest in the environment, conservation, and/or whales and dolphins
My interest in the environment began with watching Animal Planet and going to the Smithsonian National Zoo in elementary school! I have loved animals ever since, and visiting places like the Hall of Ocean Life at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History propelled my interest in whales and other marine life.
In high school I had the opportunity to take biology and environmental science courses which fueled my passion for conservation, and I’ve remained interested in it well into college!
Why did you want to be an intern with WDC?
I wanted to be an intern with WDC because I think that the goals of this organization are so important! I was also really drawn to WDC because I have been interested in marine life since I was little, and the opportunity to help employ their strategies to try and conserve whales and dolphins, animals I have really come to appreciate, sounded really exciting! I also really appreciate their commitment to diversity and inclusion!
What are you most excited to learn/do during your internship?
I’m most excited to learn about all of the details that go specifically into marine mammal conservation, and to be helping with boater outreach! I am also really excited to get to know all of the people who work for WDC better! Working with WDC over the summer is also giving me the chance to see whales for the first time!
What is your favorite fact about marine mammals?
Everyone in my family loves gardening and keeping houseplants, so my favorite fact about marine mammals is that whales are gardeners of the ocean!