The northeast office of the North Carolina Coastal Federation is where I have been interning this semester. The organization as a whole promotes a healthy coastal environment that supports thriving coastal communities. The northeast office in particular focuses on issues specifically in this region and educating local students. Beyond the region, there are staff that also look more broadly at oysters in North Carolina, including my mentor, Erin Fleckenstein, who is also the manager of the Northeast Regional Office. As an intern under her direction, my focus was on oyster mariculture in the state.
I was tasked with researching the environmental effects and dependencies of oyster growing and making a fact sheet that could communicate the key information about oysters. I also worked on building a database of oyster growers and oyster-focused restaurants that the Coastal Federation is in relationship with so that they can better organize with them in the future. I used this database to start profiling oyster growers and farmers for “On the Half Shell“, the Coastal Federations’ quarterly publication on oysters in the state. I also assisted with another ongoing oyster project by researching the strategies for monitoring water quality for ensuring the safety of grown oysters in different states. Below is a photo of me sitting in my work area of the Northeast office, where I worked on these projects.
In addition to the previously mentioned projects, I engaged in some office wide activities. Because my internship days were on Mondays, I was able to attend the weekly staff meetings and get a better sense for what all of the office was doing and give some input on that coordination. I also sat in on one of the meetings to refine and establish goals for the next year. In addition to those events in the office, I joined the Northeast office in traveling to Raleigh to attend the 2017 Albemarle-Pamlico Ecosystem Symposium. There I had the opportunity to hear about the latest research and efforts related to monitoring and managing environmental issues in this unique region.