Meet the Summer Interns of the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office

August 03, 2020

This summer we hosted five students from various programs. Here’s what they did and learned during their time with us.

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Left to Right: Will Lyons, Henry Hardy, Eve Kopicki, Erianna Hammond, and Sara Nix.

This summer we were lucky enough to work with five outstanding students. We all learned a lot as we navigated through conversations over computers instead of over in-person coffee. Here’s a little bit about each one of our interns and how they spent their virtual time with us. 

Erianna Hammond: Erianna goes to school at Savannah State University and is a NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) scholar. She spent the summer investigating and mapping marine mammal vessel interactions in the Northeast. She researched and analyzed the number of interactions before and after our vessel speed restrictions went into place. She also helped us identify areas that should be targeted for increased outreach. 

Henry Hardy: Henry is a biology major and math minor at Bates College and entering his junior year this fall. Henry explored  patterns in fishing efforts to help protected species management with a focus on turtles. Henry took part in the NOAA College-Supported Internship Program

Eve Kopicki: Eve attends University of Pittsburgh and is a NOAA Hollings Scholar. Eve spent the summer documenting changes in the whale-watching industry over the last 3 decades as captured through history collections for the Voices from the Fisheries.

Will Lyons: Will is a PhD candidate at Florida A&M University. His work was funded through the NOAA Experiential Research and Training Opportunities (NERTO) program. Will spent the summer researching how social marketing strategies and communication can be used to promote conservation and protection of endangered sturgeon. 

Sara Nix: Sara is a rising senior at the University of South Carolina and a NOAA Hollings Scholar. She mapped ports and calculated vessel traffic in navigational rivers of the Greater Atlantic Region. Sara’s work will help our Section 7 biologists with their consultations involving shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon.    


Why Did You Choose to Work at Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office?

  • I chose to intern at GARFO because I wanted to help explore and protect our beautiful oceans and in ways that will restore and increase the health of the amazing creatures in it. I also wanted to network and collaborate with a diverse group of people while expanding on my knowledge on critically endangered species. —Erianna
  • I wanted to intern at GARFO because I love the ocean and am interested in protected species management. As a biology major and math minor, the project I worked on allowed me to combine my interests. While creating fishing effort maps using the programming language R, I was able to learn new skills and a ton of information! I know that working at GARFO was a great opportunity and am grateful I was given the chance to do so. —Henry
  • I chose to intern with GARFO due to growing concerns from scientists, decision makers, and citizens alike to protect our environment and ensure healthy ecosystems for current and future generations. We must write our destiny together! —Will
  • One of the many reasons I chose to intern with GARFO was to experience my passions and education in practice. Being able to work with others to protect our natural resources has been an incredible experience. —Sara
  • I chose to intern with GARFO because I wanted to be a part of the team that was working to protect marine species that inspired my love and advocacy for the environment. —Eve


What Is Your Best Memory of the Ocean?

  • Being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean observing seals. —Erianna
  • My best memory of the ocean is snorkeling at Niles Beach in Gloucester. Snorkeling there is an activity I truly enjoy. I make a point of snorkeling there every summer and have done so for at least the last 10 years. It has helped me foster a love for both the ocean and the many creatures that live there. —Henry
  • My best memory of the ocean reminds me of when my father took me out in the water and my mom was nervous about us getting swept away with the tide. Although she was taking pictures and we were having a good time, they emphasized the beauty of what God had made and how we were blessed to experience it. —Will
  • Floating on a giant tube in the intracoastal during a meteor shower and seeing the galaxies reflected in the water. —Sara
  • My favorite memory of the ocean was spending time at the beach when I was studying abroad in South Africa. After class, we would head down to the beach to relax and hang out with friends. It was an amazing experience being on the water with the background of Table Mountain. We even saw a shark one day! —Eve


What Was One Thing You Learned During Your Internship?

  • Reach out! Never know who is willing to meet and help you on your journey. —Erianna
  • Learning how to program with R is something this internship has helped me with. Prior to this internship, I had no experience with coding or programming. Being able to create maps and do statistical analysis in R is something that will definitely help me in the future. —Henry
  • Effective communication is crucial to gain compliance with any voluntary or involuntary recommendation. —Will
  • I learned how to make and manage my own schedule in a way that I had never needed to before. Holding myself accountable was something I worked hard on this summer. —Sara
  • During my internship I learned that there are a lot of opportunities in the protected resources field to be able to advocate for the marine mammals that inspired my love of the environment. This internship has pushed me towards pursuing a career in coastal management and marine policy. —Eve

Looking for a Career in Marine Life? Look at NOAA

From marine biologists to engineers and policymakers to educators, NOAA Fisheries employs people in a wide range of fields.

Scuba diver entering the water.

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on August 03, 2020