The Central Caribbean Marine Institute welcomed two new interns to their Little Cayman station this new year.
University of Florida master’s students Morgan Edwards, 27, and Savanna Barry, 22, arrived in the Cayman Islands on 2 January and began work shortly thereafter.
They will be working with CCMI for the next six months, collecting data for their individual research projects for school and focusing on community outreach for the institute.
“I’ve never really done any outreach work before, so we’ll see how it all shakes out,” said Ms Edwards, adding that working for a nonprofit like CCMI would be fantastic.
Ms Edwards and Ms Barry are majoring in Fishery Science, and their focus while in Little Cayman will be on different aspects — diet and growth rate — of lionfish.
In their first week of interning, they spent mornings writing lesson plans, working on PowerPoint presentations and planning activities.
They’ve spent afternoons running errands and talking to tourists at resorts about the work going on at CCMI.
“It honestly doesn’t feel like work,” said Ms Barry. “I’m totally blissfully happy here. Little Cayman is just fabulous.”
The students’ science gear was waiting in Customs for approval. When the students receive their gear, the real work and research starts.
“The interns are a really important part of life at the station in Little Cayman. They are here predominantly to conduct studies for their master’s [degrees], but they also fulfil the vital role of passing on education to our islands children,” said Samantha Shaxted, communications and development director at CCMI.
“Savanna and Morgan will be holding classes for our ocean literacy programme and also teaching at our sea camps and eco weekends.”
The interns are a key part of the outreach efforts on Little Cayman, according to Ms Shaxted.
They will be giving weekly talks to visitors about their studies and the work of CCMI on Monday nights at the Little Cayman Beach Resort, and on Tuesdays at the Southern Cross Club.
“It is thanks in part to the generous support of our corporate sponsors KPMG, CUC, Rotary and Fosters IGA that we are able to support Morgan and Savanna in their studies and keep bringing the children to Little Cayman that will learn from this dynamic duo,” she said.
“We are thrilled to have them here.”