Summer Internship Shadowing Scientists Through the UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County

Sean MacWilliam
Sean M., UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County Summer 2022 Intern. Photo courtesy of Sean M.

My Background

I am blogging about the great opportunity I had during my summer internship shadowing scientists and blogging about the experiences. My name is Sean M. and I was born and raised in coastal SE Florida. I am currently a senior at the University of Florida studying Forest Resources and Conservation with a specialization in Protected Areas Management. I was informed in November of 2021 that I have received a slot for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science Extension Internship for the 2022 Summer. I chose to intern in St. Lucie County as it is close to home, and I have previous knowledge and experiences within the landscape. My summer internship was under the mentorship of UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County extension agents Ken Gioeli (Natural Resources & Environment) and Kate Rotindo (Urban Horticulture).

About My Summer Internship Scientist Shadowing Blog Series

During my summer internship in St. Lucie County, I shadowed scientists at various organization that regularly collaborate with UF/IFAS Extension. I worked with my internship mentor Extension Agent Ken Gioeli to develop a plan of work for these shadowing experiences and agreed to blog my experiences. Four scientist shadowing experiences were successfully completed during my summer internship through the Extension office.

My first shadowing experience was with Dr. Carey Minteer and her team conducting research on biological control of invasive earleaf acacia at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center. My next internship shadowing experience was learning about Florida Atlantic University at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and how they are using native sea vegetables for both human consumption and coastal restoration. I then shadowed sea turtle biologists with Ecological Associates and had the opportunity to participate in a nighttime sea turtle excursion in Jensen Beach, Florida.  My final shadowing experience was with Extension Agent Ken Gioeli as we studied nonnative Peters’s rock agama on the Treasure Coast and developed a live trap system.

My Summer 2022 Blog Series

Please enjoy my UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County summer internship blog series.

My Internship Shadowing Experience: Working with Invasive Earleaf Acacia and a Potential Biocontrol Method

My Internship Shadowing Experience: Sea Vegetables at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

My Internship Shadowing Experience: Nighttime Sea Turtle Walk

My Internship Shadowing Experience: How do you live trap Peters’s rock agama?

My final thoughts…

Overall, my summer internship shadowing scientists through the UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County provided me depth of knowledge and experiences I greatly value.  Much thanks to my mentors Ken Gioeli and Kate Rotindo for this enlightening experience.


Sean M. was primary author on all blog posts associated with this series.  Extension Agent Ken Gioeli served as co-author and supervised publishing the blogs, content review and search engine optimization (SEO).


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Posted: June 30, 2022

Category: 4-H & Youth, Agriculture, , Coasts & Marine, Home Landscapes, NATURAL RESOURCES, UF/IFAS Extension, Wildlife
Tags: Agama, Earleaf Acacia, Harbor Branch, Internship, Invasive Species, Sea Turtle, Sea Vegetable

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