Interning at the Thompson Earth Systems Institute as an environmental communicator has truly been a highlight of my college experience. Not only has it drastically improved my science communication skills, but it has also furthered my passion for environmental science and connected me with other like-minded people.

As an environmental science major, I went into this internship in February with a strong understanding of the environment and was eager to put all my newfound knowledge to use. Ultimately, I was shocked at how much I continued to learn every single day as I created content for TESI’s Digital Outreach campaigns. Whether it was a Know Your Florida or Earth to Florida social media post, feature story, or a news summary, I always walked away from a shift with a new fun fact to share.

While I was researching and creating posts to educate the public, I was also learning new things about the state I’ve lived in my whole life!

Tell Me About: Everglades Restoration Action of the Week: Sustainable Gardening carbon sequestration

Brainstorming topics for Know Your Florida posts also made me even more observant and curious about the environment around me. On my daily walks to the Florida Museum of Natural History, and any other time I was outside, I was always on the lookout for a new interesting plant or animal to write about.

Loblolly Pine Loblolly Pine Know Your Florida: Fireflies

Aside from social media posts, one of the most memorable projects I’ve worked on has been my feature story: Trees Provide Hope in Slowing the Rate of Climate Change – But They Can’t Do It Alone.

Trees Provide Hope in Slowing the Rate of Climate Change – But They Can’t Do It Alone

Forestry quickly became one of my favorite topics after taking a tree biology course a few semesters ago, so I was excited to deep dive into the field and connect it to climate change — another topic I’m passionate about. After many rough drafts and endless guidance from TESI Communications Manager Becca Burton, I was able to create a final product I was proud of. This project taught me so much about the process of writing feature stories and was fundamental in improving my journalism skills.

Overall, being an environmental communicator has given me an outlet to express my passion for nature while promoting environmental stewardship. Having the opportunity to combine the information I was learning in my classes with the science communication skills I was learning at TESI has been an extremely rewarding experience. Knowing that every post I made contributed in some small way towards educating the public on the importance of environmental stewardship made all of the hard work worth it at the end of the day. 

As my time with TESI sadly comes to an end, I’m hoping to find a position that will allow me to continue environmental communication while gaining experience in fieldwork and research. While a lot is still uncertain, I’m confident that I’ve gained invaluable skills and experiences through this internship that will support me wherever I go.