Documenting Sharks as a Science Communication Intern

CATEGORIES: Student Perspective

Megan Gilbert, junior in journalism and mass communication

Dozens of unique opportunities have been presented to me as a communications intern with a scientific research institution.

Because the communications team at the Island School is responsible for sharing the important work and research that is being done on its Bahamian campus, each day is filled with new and exciting adventures.

Last week, I had the privilege to go out with the shark research team at the Cape Eleuthera Institute to study the diversity of sharks in Southern Eleuthera.

On the average shark research expedition, the team works quickly to ensure that any captured animals are released quickly. They take various measurements to document the size and maturity of these sharks, and investigate the sharks’ diets through a blood test that measures isotopes that can be matched to specific fish. The team also tags each shark that they catch in order to monitor its migration pathways.

The Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute employ outreach and education measures to inform the general public about oceanic processes, creatures and ecosystems. By providing the opportunity for individuals to interact with different types of marine life, the institution hopes to ignite a sense of respect for the ocean in the people who participate in its programs.

The Island School has educational programs year-round, including exchange semesters for high school students. These students are challenged to develop a bond with the earth during their time on campus. Through farming practices, working with research teams, SCUBA diving and living a more sustainable life, the students are learning outside of the classroom.

Aside from the real-world experience that I have gained as a member of the communications team at the Island School, I have also grown as a person and a responsible member of society.