Using my Hollings internship to try something new — education and outreach

My name is Laura Jones and I am a Class of 2022 Hollings scholar. This summer, I was lucky enough to intern with Patty Miller at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS).  During my internship, I created educational materials, taught children, and participated in outreach.

Photo gallery: Laura teaching

My internship was focused on making a coral reef education unit. The unit includes five lessons enriched with videos, interactive PowerPoints, self-designed activities, and handouts. Not only was I able to make these lessons for distribution to Hawaiian teachers, but I also taught my lessons at the HIHWNMS to over sixty children. 

Additionally, I participated in and created materials for outreach events around the island. I made coral reef brochures, coloring pages, and crafts, and also helped develop content for the HIHWNMS social media platforms.

A facebook post that reads "We hope you're having a great summer! Friendly reminder to be aware of the suncreens and products you use on your skin as they can have effects on marine life! Make sure that you're using reef-safe products that are free of harmful chemicals. Even if you don't enter the water with these products on, they can enter our waterways and end up in the ocean. A graphic shows a person rinsing at the beach and says "Beach Showers are a Point Source of Sunscreen Pollution."
An example of one of Laura's social media posts that was shared through the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary page. (Image credit: Hawaiian Islands Humpback National Marine Sanctuary)
A piece of paper with a food web on it where someone has glued on hand-colored fish illustrations.
One of the educational activities Laura Jones, a 2022 Hollings scholar, created during her internship at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. (Image credit: Laura Jones)

Whether I was teaching children or participating in outreach, I loved interacting with people in a way that was centered around the ocean. I learned the important skill of taking scientific information and delivering it to different audiences in a way that is engaging and accessible. 

My Hollings summer internship was incredibly impactful as I got hands-on experience in outreach and education, which is much different from my research-based college background. I am so grateful that my internship exposed me to different fields within marine science as it has broadened the possibilities for my future career.

A headshot of Laura Jones.
Laura Jones, 2022 Hollings scholar

Laura is a 2022 Hollings scholar majoring in Marine Biology at the University of Miami.