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Intern Profiles

Below is a selection of our previous interns from 2007-2019

WDC-North American Interns

Name: Holly Williams                                                                                        Year of Internship: Spring/Summer 2019                                  College/University & Major: Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Durham University, and master’s degree in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation from Imperial College London.                                                                      Residence: Oxford, UK                                                                                Favorite Part of Internship:  So many! Seeing whales, making new friends, talking to people about whales, contributing to whale and dolphin conservation…Current Position: Project Administrator at Freshwater Habitats Trust                  Advice for Potential Applicants: The internship goes by really quickly so make the most of it.

Holly Williams 2
Zoey Trombley

 

Name: Zoey Trombley                                                                                                Year of Internship: Summer 2019                                      College/University & Major: Wayne State University, Biological Science    Residence: Detroit, Michigan, USA                                                                        Favorite Part of Internship: The whales and all the people at WDC        Current Position: Not 100% sure yet. Perhaps Grad school but I am definitely hoping to find a job in wildlife conservation.                                                  Advice for Potential Applicants: It goes by quickly so make sure you take time to enjoy it! Also don’t forget to bring a rubber band on the boat.

Name: Marissa Cartee                                                                                      Year of Internship: Summer 2019                                                  College/University & Major: University of New Hampshire- Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology Major                                                    Residence: Duxbury, MA                                                                              Favorite Part of Internship: I really enjoyed being able to personally know the whale on Stellwagen Bank and then getting to share that experience with the passengers on board.                                                                                      Current Position: Junior year at UNH                                                          Advice for Potential Applicants: Enjoy every moment of the internship whether it’s the whales or the amazing people that you meet because it goes by way faster than you would ever think!

Marissa Cartee (2)
Melissa Nelson (2)

Name: Melissa Nelson                                                                                      Year of Internship: Summer/fall 2019                                                        College/University & Major: Canisius College ’17 Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation                                                                              Residence: South Carolina, USA                                                                    Favorite Part of Internship: Right whale policy!!                                          Current Position: Applying to grad/law school                                                Advice for Potential Applicants: Remember this is a temporary position whenever you feel burned out! It’ll be over before you know it, so try to get in as much experience with everything you possibly can!!!

Name: Aaron Crasnick                                                                                              Year of Internship: Summer/fall 2019                                                                  College/University & Major: University of Delaware - Major: Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, Minor: Marine Studies                                            Residence: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Current Position:  Pacific Whale Foundation (Maui)                                           Favorite Part of Internship: Going out on the whale watches and seeing awe-inspiring animals every trip, as well as meeting all the guests on the trips to teach them about whales and the marine environment

Aaron Crasnick
Anna Pearson

Name: Anna Pearson                                                                                                Year of Internship: Summer 2018                                                                College/University & Major: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Biology major                                                                                                  Residence: Chapel Hill, NC                                                                        Favorite Part of Internship: Getting to know and recognize the whales you see often. Also, getting to know the people you work with every day.              Current Position: Graduate program at University of North Carolina Wilmington                                                                                                          Advice for Potential Applicants: Take advantage of your day off and have fun! You may never get this opportunity again, so take advantage of every chance to bond with other interns and to learn!

Name: Bekah Lane                                                                                                  Year of Internship: Summer 2018                                                                          College/University & Major: Emporia State University, B.S. in Biological Sciences                                                                                                        Residence: Wichita, KS                                                                                    Favorite Part of Internship: Being able to see these beautiful animals in the wild every day and contributing to WDC’s valuable research. I loved seeing new whales and being able to identify the more familiar individual whales by myself! Current Position: Graduate program at San Francisco State University              Advice for Potential Applicants: Don’t take your days on the boat for granted. Every sighting is exciting in its own way, even if it is just a traveling whale or a minke. Even though you will be so tired by your day off, try and use that time to explore Plymouth or New England in general!

Bekah Lane
Haley Lasco

Name: Haley Lasco                                                                                            Year of Internship: Summer 2018                                                        College/University & Major: University of Tampa, Marine Biology      Residence: Grayslake, IL (Home) / Tampa, FL (School)                              Favorite Part of Internship: The people I met and the relationships I formed with them that I know will last a lifetime. As well as the memories I made with these new friends and with the beautiful whales that I am passionate to protect because they are all just Gentle Giants.                                                                  Current Position: Prepping for grad school                                                      Advice for Potential Applicants: Don’t be afraid to be yourself because the people you meet are wonderful and will accept you for you. Also don’t waste your days off watching Netflix (as tempting as it may seem). Go out and see the state - 12 weeks wasn’t even enough to truly feel like I knew Massachusetts.

Name: Jordan Honeycutt                                                                                      Year of Internship: Summer 2018                                                                    College/University & Major: University of Georgia, Biology with a focus in marine sciences                                                                                                    Residence: Athens, GA                                                                                              Favorite Part of Internship: Getting to know all the whales’ behaviors and learning how behavioral research and cataloging is done.                                      Current Position: Senior year of undergrad, getting ready for grad school.      Advice for Potential Applicants: Take advantage of every opportunity, go out to explore on your days off, and don’t be afraid to talk to the crew on the boats!

 

Jordan Honeycutt
Marget Johnson2

Name: Marget Johnson                                                                                      Year of Internship: Summer/Fall 2018                                                                College/University & Major: University of North Carolina at Wilmington      Residence: Bozeman, Montana                                                                  Favorite Part of Internship: Spending days on the water and seeing the whales live their life-the active surface behavior was always the most exciting to watch. My favorite humpback whale behavior to witness is the spy hopping.        Current Position: I am in search of work…gaining as much field experience as possible before beginning a master’s program in marine conservation management/policy within the next few years.                                                  Advice for Potential Applicants: Utilize the available resources (reading materials on WDC’s server, and WDC staff for any questions).

Name: Fiona Skeggs                                                                                          Year of Internship: Summer/Fall 2018                                              College/University & Major: Cardiff University, Zoology                    Residence: Aylesbury, UK                                                                                      Favorite Part of Internship: Seeing certain whales so frequently that you can ID them from a distance and get to know some of their individual quirks e.g. Mudskipper rarely flukes, Dome trumpets, Etch-A-Sketch usually feeds alone etc.  Current Position: Applying for graduate programs                                            Advice for Potential Applicants: Enjoy every day as time will fly and before you know it your 12 weeks are up. Being out on the water everyday allows you to experience some truly amazing things so don’t take it for granted!

Fiona Skeggs
Natashia Senior

Name: Natasha Senior                                                                                      Year of Internship: Summer/Fall 2018                                                              College/University & Major: Durham University – BSc Geography                Residence: Manchester, UK                                                                            Favorite Part of Internship: Having a new experience every trip out on the water with different species, associations, and whale behaviours!              Current Position: University College London - Biodiversity, Evolution & Conservation masters program                                                                        Advice for Potential Applicants: Take a minute to put down your camera (once you have the necessary shots of course!) and absorb the whales in their natural habitat!

Name: Claire Pignon                                                                                          Year of Internship: Spring-Summer 2017                                                College/University & Major: Science Po Grenoble, Master's in Politics & Practices of Non-Profits                                                                                    Residence: France                                                                                                Favorite Part of Internship: Every moment spent on the boat                Current Position: Science office for the French consulate in Hong Kong            Advice for Potential Applicants: Enjoy every single moment spent on the boat. It's such a privilege to spend so much time with the whales. And one other advice I would give- act like a team player- team work makes it a lot easier.

Claire Pignon
Hannah Vegh

Name: Hannah Vegh                                                                                            Year of Internship: Spring-Summer 2017                                      College/University & Major: University of Rhode Island                  Residence: New Hampshire, USA                                                                    Favorite Part of Internship: Meeting interns from all over and sharing our love for whales                                                                                                          Current Position: Naturalist Assistant with Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch        Advice for Potential Applicants: Have fun and enjoy the experience of spending a summer with whales.  Also, don't forget sunscreen.

Name: Melissa Steinberg                                                                                          Year of Internship: Summer-Fall 2017                                                  College/University & Major: Stockton University                                        Residence: South Brunswick, New Jersey, USA                                                        Favorite Part of Internship: Seeing all the cool species and all the different behaviors                                                                                                              Current Position: Naturalist Assistant with Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch      Advice for Potential Applicants: Have fun! And really enjoy yourself cause this internship is seriously such an amazing experience and something that not everyone can say they've done.  How many people spend their summer on a boat looking at humpback whales and other cool species all the time....not many, so make the most of it and have fun.

 

Melissa Steinberg 2017
Lindsey Ellett 2017 2

Name: Lindsey Ellett                                                                                            Year of Internship: Summer-Fall 2017                                        College/University & Major: Oregon State University- Honors College, Major: Biology, Option: Marine biology                                                              Residence: Oregon, USA                                                                                  Favorite Part of Internship: Never knowing exactly what to expect on the water.                                                                                                                  Current Position: Masters student at the University of Montana, studying Resource Conservation with an emphasis in International Conservation and Development.                                                                                                    Advice for Potential Applicants: Enjoy the moment, both on the boats and with the awesome people you'll meet. The days can feel long, but each day is a new opportunity, and the overall experience flies by!

Name: Monica Ponzi                                                                                                  Year of Internship: Summer 2017                                                        College/University & Major: University of Stirling, Scotland- Honours degree in Marine Biology                                                                        Residence: Rome, Italy                                                                                              Favorite Part of Internship: Being able to see the whales so often that I am now able to identify a lot of them on the spot, together with knowing and personally processing what is done with the data we collect in the field.      Current Position: Master’s program at University of Algarve, Portugal        Advice for Potential Applicants: Don't be intimidated or scared of not being good enough. You will be amazed with how much you can learn by being in the field so often and being surrounded by so many knowledgeable people you can always count on. Without forgetting that you will be living in the beautiful town of Plymouth and will have the opportunity to discover lots of other places and best of all, make friendships that you know will be there even when you leave the country and go off to your next adventure.

Monica Ponzi 3
Carrie on the boat 2017

Name: Carrie Connolly                                                                                              Year of Internship: Summer 2017                                                                    College/University & Major: Ursinus College, Environmental Studies              Residence: Westport, Massachusetts, USA                                                        Favorite Part of Internship: Teaching people about the whales while on the whale watching trips                                                                                        Current Position: Hopefully something in the sustainable energy field.            Advice for Potential Applicants: Always keep a positive attitude.

 

Name: Emma Vovk
Year of Internship: 
Summer 2016
College/University & Major: 
University of Edinburgh, BSc Hons in Ecological and Environmental Science
Residence:
Oxford, UK
Favorite Part of Internship: 
Spending half of the working week out on the water, surrounded by whales 🙂
Current Position: 
Masters student in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management with the University of Oxford
Advice for Potential Applicants: 
Enjoy every moment and take every opportunity - 12 weeks fly by, and there are so many things to experience.

Emma Vovk
Sabrina 2016

Name: Sabrina Braunlich
Year of Internship:
 Summer 2016
College/University & Major:
 University of Findlay, Pre-Veterinary Medicine/Animal Science & Biology
Residence:
Massachusetts(Current) Michigan(Hometown)
Favorite Part of Internship:
 All the amazing people you get to work with (the whales included)
Current Position:
 Staff member at WDC!
Advice for Potential Applicants:
 While you may want to sleep the whole day on your day off, go out and explore Plymouth, surrounding cities, go and take little road trips!

 

Name: Danica Warns                                                                                            Year of Internship: Summer 2015                                                            College/University and Major: Stony Brook University, M.A. in Marine Conservation and Policy                                                                                Residence: Providence, RI                                                                                    Favorite part of internship: getting to observe and photograph whales    Current position:  Shaping the Future of Your Community Regional Coordinator  for Mass Audubon                                                                            What advice would you provide to future interns? Make the most of your time here, experience everything you want to and make long-lasting connections with the staff and other interns.

Danica Warns
Sam Sanders2

Name: Sam Sanders                                                                                                  Year of Internship: Summer 2014                                            College/University & Major: University of Georgia, School of Forestry and Natural Resources- Fisheries and Wildlife with an emphasis in both Wildlife and Aquatics                                                                                                          Residence: North Carolina, USA                                                                          Favorite Part of Internship My favorite part about the internship was the everyday suspense of what you could possibly see on the water that day. From the basking sharks to 75+ whales in one day, it was always an exceptional day to be on the water. And of course, the pure charisma of each whale. One second they would be breaching and the next a calf would be rolling over to look at you!                                                                                                                          Current Position Legal Extern – US District Court, Western District of North Carolina                                                                                                                  Advice for Potential Applicants For future interns I would tell them to not get down on themselves if they do something wrong and to always keep a cool head. There may be days that are very stressful, rainy, or you may have a boat full of grumpy passengers and crew. But at the end of the day, just remember that this is an amazing opportunity!!

Name Caitlin Karniski

Year of Internship Spring, 2012                                                                          College/University & Major Georgetown University, Biology major with a concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; PhD Student at Georgetown University

Residence New York (current) Tampa, FL , USA (hometown)

Favorite Part of Internship The scar study project I worked on... And the people! It felt great to be surrounded by such passionate and positive people while working on a focused, analytical study of the effects of vessel strikes on humpback whales that could have profound real-world and policy implications.

Current Position Associate Editor of Communications Biology at Springer Nature

Caitlin Karniski 2
Alex Hill 2

Name Alex Hill                                                                                                    Year of Internship 2007, 2011-2012                                                          College/University & Major University of Nebraska, Animal Science & Biology                                                                                                        Residence Brewster, MA, USA  (current), Nebraska (hometown)                      Favorite Part of Internship My internship with WDC led to my return in 2011 to work on a non-lethal scar study of the Gulf of Maine humpback whale population.  Preliminary data analysis shows that at least 1 in 10 humpbacks will be injured from a vessel strike.  I was able to continue this research for my graduate work and publish our findings.                                                            Current Position Director of Research and Education at Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch

intern group photo