I began my journey at TESI as an Environmental Leaders Fellow in the Fall of 2021. Since then, I have not only met peers that will no doubt be the next leaders of environmental science, but I felt affirmed in a field that I am passionate about.  

I initially learned about TESI after applying to the UF TESI Environmental Leaders Fellowship. This program sought to empower students interested in environmental topics. During the fellowship, I had the opportunity to attend seminars and workshops, be mentored by someone in my field, and participate in a week-long field experience. Above all else, I met some amazing peers interested in environmental topics from an array of majors and gained lifelong skills that I will always carry with me. As my time as a fellow came to an end, the opportunity arose to apply to be an intern at TESI, and after applying and interviewing, I learned I got the position.  

As a TESI intern, I worked with three of my former fellows to develop the UF TESI Environmental Leaders Network for undergraduate students at the University of Florida. The network is a hub that serves to connect those interested in environmental topics with opportunities and resources. Using our experiences as fellows, we were able to create something that will help students develop as future professionals, learn more about how to get involved in research, obtain internship opportunities, and more. While we were working on the network, we were also given training on how to be effective environmental communicators.  

Being an environmental communicator for TESI taught me how to deliver information about science that is digestible and not jargon-heavy. A common problem in science communication is the information is not accessible to the general public. As a communicator, we worked to ensure that all information was not only educational but also accessible. Due to this internship, I have strengthened my communication skills, learned about web management, and improved my graphic design skills. Through learning how to be an effective environmental communicator, I also developed a deeper love and appreciation for Florida’s plants and animals.

Some of my work as a TESI Environmental Communicator:

  fanningsprings  MPAs Moon Jellyfish online shopping

While I am scared of what the future might hold, I am happy to say that my time at TESI has given me skills that ease those fears. I am forever grateful for the knowledge I have gained, the people I met, and the person I have become while being here. My biggest takeaway from being at TESI is that I am in the correct field and there is a place for me in environmental science.  View more of my work for TESI.