Help the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce hire an intern to help the lagoon

The Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce wants residents and visitors to Treasure Coast to help inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.

With their “12 Days of Christmas” wish, the staff at the Smithsonian are asking for help raising funds to support an internship at the St. Lucie County Aquarium.

The marine station hires two types of interns: education and aquarium rearing, according to Bill Hoffman, director of the Smithsonian’s Marine Ecosystems Exhibition.

Education trainees use what they learn about Florida’s marine ecosystems during their formal training to engage and inspire visitors to the aquarium, Hoffman said. Aquarium breeding trainees are trained to follow the show’s aquarium exhibit maintenance protocols.

More than 12 days of Christmas:

The main exhibits are models of local ecosystems, including a seagrass, mangrove forest, and coral reef, in 500-3,000 gallon aquariums. There are also touch tanks and a variety of smaller screens.

Research at the station is focused on the Indian River Lagoon and the waters off the coast of Florida, according to the center. It is nestled on the lagoon – one of the most diverse estuaries in the country – and less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean.

“Not only would we provide interns with the opportunity to gain real-world experience at a unique educational facility operated by the Smithsonian, but by sharing what they learn with aquarium visitors, friends and family. families, we also promote environmental stewardship in our community and beyond, ”said Hoffman.

Interns receive a stipend of $ 3,600 for a 12-week part-time internship and $ 7,200 for a full-time internship, said Valérie Paul, station manager. Paul is also one of five experts on the Blue Algae Task Force appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis.

“We rely heavily on volunteers and interns to help us fulfill our Smithsonian mission of providing more environmentally aware citizens,” Hoffman said.

The Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce held its 11th annual open house on Thursday, February 28, 2019, allowing members of the general public to speak with scientific researchers about the work being conducted at the station.  Customers were briefed on work being done on mangroves, oyster and seagrass beds, mudflats and mud flats, and coral and worm reefs in the Indian River Lagoon estuary and deep Wed.

How to help

  • Who: Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce
  • Wish: Funding to support an internship
  • Cost: $ 3,600 for a part-time intern and $ 7,200 for a full-time intern
  • How to donate: Contact Bill Hoffman at [email protected] or 772-465-3271.

About this series

Treasure Coast nonprofits that research, protect, restore, and advocate for safe drinking water, especially the St. Lucia River and Indian River Lagoon, need more than the holiday cheer to continue their journey. mission. Find out what they need – and how you can help them – to continue their work, as highlights a different organization every day from December 25 to January 5, the traditional 12 days of Christmas. Read previous stories:

For more news, follow Max Chesnes on Twitter.

Max Chesnes is an environmental reporter for TCPalm who focuses on the issues facing the Indian River Lagoon, the St. Lucia River, and Lake Okeechobee. You can follow Max on Twitter @MaxChesnes, email him at [email protected] and call him at 772-978-2224.

Read more of Max’s stories.

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