The Sea S.T.A.R. Interns arrived this week at the Field Station and are roaring to get the summer going! Sea S.T.A.R. stands for Students Teaching and Researching. All of the students are approaching their senior year in high school looking to get more involved with nature this summer! With many camps and intergenerational programs on the horizon, the interns are spending this week preparing lessons, songs, and activities. During their internship, the Sea S.T.A.Rs also take on their own unique research project which they will present on during their end of the summer celebration, volunteer with various places on the island, and get a small taste of college as they attend a current college course at the Field Station.
Last Wednesday, our Sea S.T.A.R. Interns and our Sea S.T.A.R. Stewards joined forces to take on the intertidal zone at Tom’s Cove. Educator Maria lead them in activities to look for different organisms in the area.
The interns started off the day in the classroom discussing the intertidal zone and types of marine life that live there. Organisms, in this area, go through morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations to survive.
Maria showed the interns the ropes, and soon they found all types of marine life. This included common things like mussels, fish, and shrimp, as well as a few horseshoe crabs, which got everyone excited.
“I like that we got to see a live horseshoe crab and touch the fish,” Sea S.T.A.R. Quincy Brown said.
After untangling a horseshoe crab that was stuck in a line, the interns caught and released fish in the bay using a large net and a lot of noise, splashing down the river to encourage the fish into the net. They looked at the fish, and with Maria’s help began to identify some.
“I loved the seine nets because we got to see some very cool sea creatures,” Sea S.T.A.R. Steward Lyssa Annis said.
Later in the summer, the Sea S.T.A.R's will lead these activities with intergenerational campers at the Field Station, helping them to understand the marine life in the intertidal zone and to get excited about outdoor education.
This was the first week of the summer for our Sea S.T.A.R. program, and the first week ever for our Sea S.T.A.R. Stewards. Chincoteague Bay Field Station recently received a grant from Toyota TogetherGreen and Audobon making this program possible, allowing Accomack County high school students to participate in an internship that would not only give them leadership skills but also teach them about our local watershed.
“I think it’s a pretty fun program,” Sea S.T.A.R. Steward Kristen McCollum said. “I’ve liked it a lot so far, and I like seeing the turtles.”
Students in our internship program build workplace skills and acquire knowledge about marine science, but they also build a community amongst themselves of young marine science students.
“It’s very hands-on, and we get to learn a bunch of marine science,” Sea S.T.A.R. Virginia Pan said. “Getting to know people with the same interests is great.”
The summer has only just begun, and our interns will be learning so much more about marine science, their role in the watershed, and how they can help preserve our natural resources.
Sea S.T.A.R Interns and Stewards seine for fishes at Tom's Cove.
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