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ANGARI Intern Blog - Ocean Expert Exchange: Lionfish Invasion

Going Live with Ocean Expert Exchange

ANGARI Intern Anna Perruzza

By Anna Perruzza – Spring 2021 Intern

When I applied for this internship, my goal was to gain experience with marketing for a nonprofit. Marketing is essential for nonprofits to gain the attention of possible donors and volunteers, and to build strong relationships with those who support their goals and values.  I had always enjoyed social media and crafting my posts to see how many likes I could get,  but I wanted to better understand how companies and nonprofits plan their social media posts in advance and market their events for specific viewers. When offered the Spring 2021 ANGARI Science Education & Communication internship I gladly accepted, and was excited for this learning experience. I was taught the ins and outs of nonprofit marketing by ANGARI Foundation’s Director of Science Education & Advancement, Dr. Amanda Waite, and President, Angela Rosenberg. 

During my internship, I was given the opportunity to help execute an Ocean Expert Exchange webinar event from beginning to end. Ocean Expert Exchange (OEE) is a free program that is co-hosted by ANGARI Foundation and the University of Florida Thompson Earth System Institute’s Scientist in Every School initiative. The webinar events aim to provide people of all ages the opportunity to hear about the speakers’ research and ask them questions at the end. The OEE speaker for the event on which I worked was Dr. Katherine Galloway of Nicholls State and Florida Atlantic Universities. Dr. Galloway specializes in lionfish biology and the mechanics of their spines. I was admittedly nervous to carry out such a large event, but I was lucky to have Amanda to answer my questions every step of the way. 

At this point in the internship, Amanda had already introduced myself and the other interns to Asana. Asana is an application used for task management. In this platform, Amanda assigned me tasks with due dates to keep me on track for creating and posting the material needed for the OEE event. For example, my draft for the April 21st post had to be completed by April 16th so that the team had time to review and schedule it in HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform. I had access to ANGARI’s social media through HubSpot, where I could plan and post from one spot on multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. I completed this process for multiple posts for OEE, as well as other social media campaigns. I always felt a sense of pride when I saw a post that I had worked on, pop up on my feed and I watched the post to see how they did. 

Along with crafting posts aimed to market the upcoming OEE webinar, I compiled the supplemental educational resources and targeted learning standards that are provided by ANGARI and the Scientist in Every School program for every Ocean Expert Exchange, that aligned with Dr. Galloway’s research on lionfish biology. To do this I had to research Florida’s learning standards and figure out which ones would best apply to Dr. Galloway’s presentation. I was also given the task of researching and adding any other supplemental resources I could find that might tie to her work and/or field of expertise.

A week before the big event, Amanda and I met with the team from the University of Florida and Dr. Galloway to discuss the event and go over any last minute concerns or questions to make sure that we were all prepared for the OEE livestream. This meeting put to rest any little things that I worried about. Before I knew it, it was the day of the Ocean Expert Exchange. My task that day was to monitor and moderate the questions in the chat on Zoom and copy them over to a shared Google document. This Google document is where Brian Abramowitz, K-12 Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Scientist in Every Florida School program, pulled questions from to pose to Dr. Galloway for the Q&A segment of the event. The questions came in fast and at points the comments got a little silly from our younger viewers, but It was amazing to see the level of engagement that we as a team had brought in for this event. We got questions from individuals and classrooms of students! I was happy to see that even teachers had set aside time with their class to attend this event. Before I knew it the Q&A time was over and with that I had successfully assisted in executing an OEE webinar. After compiling the viewing statistics, we learned that we had brought in over 1400 viewers for the event!

Ocean Expert Exchange events are livestreamed via Zoom and YouTube, where participants can place questions for the speakers in the chat.
Ocean Expert Exchange events are livestreamed via Zoom and YouTube, where participants can place questions for the speakers in the chat.

Working with ANGARI to execute an Ocean Expert Exchange was a rewarding experience. I am thankful to now have the experience of promoting an event from start to finish under my belt. This experience has made me want to look further into more opportunities within marketing for nonprofit organizations and given me even more respect for how much goes into programs and livestream webinar events like OEE.

Check out the full webinar with resources here.

Amanda Waite

Amanda Waite

Director of Science Education & Advancement, ANGARI Foundation

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