Written by 2021 Summer Intern, Kassidy King
My name is Kassidy King, I am a Spring 2021 wildlife ecology and conservation graduate and I worked with Dr. Adams and Stephanie Verhulst on the sea-level rise driven loss of cabbage palms in coastal forests. During my time working on this project, I learned a lot of practical skills that can transfer into my career such as conducting vegetation surveys, manipulating data using RStudio and Excel, and learning to communicate with professionals from different areas of expertise. These skills are very critical to succeeding in the natural sciences field and I feel that gaining experience in these areas will help me excel in my long-term career.
In addition to working on this project, I was able to work with multiple professional and graduate students on multiple projects. Some of those projects included seagrass sampling, aquatic vegetation monitoring, seed germination monitoring, and nekton sampling. Assisting in these projects has allowed me to diversify my skill set in this field and allowed me to experience research in different fields, which I really enjoyed! Getting to network with other professionals has allowed me to immerse myself in experiences that I would have never experienced outside of my internship with NCBS.
After this internship, I hope to pursue a career in a zoo or aquarium facility focusing on educating the public. Working with these exotic animals alongside talking to the public about conservation is something that I am passionate about and want to put that passion into this field. I’m currently working as a seasonal keeper at Natural Encounters in hopes to gain experience and continue to grow in this career area.
I want to thank Dr. Adams, Stephanie Verhulst, and NCBS for providing a one-of-a-kind internship that allows students to gain practical research experience that is useful for a career in the natural sciences!