skip to Main Content

Navigating the Seas of Opportunity: My Fall Internship with ANGARI Foundation and the Multifaceted Role that Became my Ocean of Experience

Martinna Parham onboard RV ANGARI

By Martinna-Noelle Parham – Fall 2023 Intern

As the Fall 2023 Intern for ANGARI Foundation, I was happy to be back in Florida after finishing my Masters of Professional Science degree from University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric and Earth Sciences in December 2022. During the first two weeks at ANGARI, I familiarized myself with the organization and asked any relevant questions. It did not take long for me to realize that I would be juggling multiple responsibilities as an intern, but I enjoyed the challenge. Working on various projects within the Foundation provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the workings of a nonprofit organization and helped me refine my existing skills while acquiring new ones. 

During my internship, my main project was one of their educational programs titled Ocean Expert Exchange (OEE). OEE is a webinar series that is co-hosted by ANGARI Foundation and the University of Florida Thompson Earth Systems Institute’s Scientist in Every Florida School Initiative. The series provides a platform where experts in marine science and technology give 15-minute talks on the speaker’s expertise followed by question and answer with the audience. The presentations welcome audiences of all ages. As part of my responsibilities, I handled the social media marketing for these webinars, which involved creating content to increase engagement and registration for the webinars. To achieve this, I started off with doing a deep dive into past OEE talks and their participant statistics, then developed three types of content to be used over the course of four months. In the end, I successfully produced three types of content to help with engagement, which some of you may have seen (i.e reels on Instagram, Instagram post of facts about relevant topics and an email blast as a reminder to register and what to expect). 

Martinna Parham graphic design
The cover graphics I created for the reels on instagram to promote participation in Ocean Expert Exchange.

Another experience I was able to participate in was the Coastal Ocean Explorers (COE): Sharks expeditions; this program teaches middle and high school students about shark research through school visits and expeditions onboard R/V ANGARI with Florida International University scientists. During my internship I participated in a total of 6 expeditions (Expedition 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, & 75) and had my first opportunity to see several types of sharks up close. My primary role was to capture the moments of the students and teachers as they interacted with the work of shark scientists through photography and videography. With both school visits and onboard R/V ANGARI, I learned a great deal about sharks, the extensive research that goes into studying them, and I got to refresh my knowledge about boats. 

Martinna helping with shark workup during Exp 71
Me with three Florida International University scientists getting up close with a shark on Expedition 71. PC: Amanda Waite

As my last intern project, I participated in the Lagoon Drift study, which is a collaborative citizen science initiative aimed at understanding the motion and reach of marine debris in the Lake Worth Lagoon and surrounding waters. The experiment involves releasing eco-friendly, non-toxic wooden drift cards into coastal waters from six sites around Palm Beach County. Once cards are released, it’s up to the public to find and report them to ANGARI via email with the following information: location, date and time found, with a photo of the card (front and back). The reported data is kept and compiled to give both residents and visitors to the community a better idea of how debris can move and accumulate in the area, as well as to help plan and better organize future clean up efforts. As part of this project, I also visited a school to teach the students about this initiative and have them help decorate the cards, and had the opportunity to participate in the annual LagoonFest event where ANGARI had an activity station focused on the drift card experiment. I spoke to parents, kids, and others about the initiative including when we would deploy and how they would be able to help out. I was thrilled to have this project come full circle and contribute to citizen science by being a part of the fall deployment of Lagoon Drift cards on November 15th, 2023 at the West Palm Beach Public Dock. For my internship, I also created an ArcGIS map that shows all the drift card data collected throughout the years, including locations where each drift card was found. The goal is to use ArcGIS to share data with the public and partnering schools so they can actively explore the experimental results and investigate their own research questions.

LagoonFest 2023 Mascots and ANGARI
Sharing Lagoon Drift with mascots and the public at LagoonFest 2023 (pictured left to right:  Martinna, Stingray, Luna the Sea Turtle, Captain Kevin, Freddy the Alligator, and Mia the Manatee). PC: Angela Rosenberg

Overall, I would highly recommend the ANGARI Foundation internship program to anyone interested in marine science, conservation, or education. My experience was both rewarding and fulfilling, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of such a wonderful organization.

Angela Rosenberg

Angela Rosenberg

President of ANGARI Foundation and Captain of R/V ANGARI

Back To Top