The coastline is the interaction of land and sea. This interaction is demonstrated in the aftermath of the Indonesian Tsunami (2004) and Hurricane Katrina (2005). Management officials have come across a dual problem in protecting a coastline that is home to wildlife, a variety of habitats, and protecting those people that live along the coast. In my college and interning experience, I have learned how important it is to educate others on how what we on land will eventually end up in the sea. I wanted to take this to another level by not only educating but also being a part of the policymaking decisions that affect the coastline. I decided that furthering my education through a master’s degree would provide me with more opportunities in the future.
Four years of undergraduate courses in the fields of environmental and marine sciences at Barry University has not only provided me with the educational background on the natural resources in the world but has helped sharpen other skills as well. These skills include making me a better public speaker, a team player, an individual worker, and a time manager. On a research level, I have learned how important it is to be organized in identification, collection, and analyzation of different plants and animals to be able to compile reports. After graduating I furthered my love for the environmental and marine sciences by obtaining an internship position at the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve.
As an intern, I have worked closely with the manager and environmental specialist on different projects ranging from learning how to put a management plan together to FDEP UMAM Mitigation specifics. I recently have been asked to develop and facilitate a program designed to provide teachers with lesson plans and activities relating to seagrass. On behalf of the Preserve, I have attended meeting on coastal conservation and uses. I also have assisted in educating visitors about the Biscayne Aquatic Preserve through seining, water quality testing, species identification and a sortment of activities.
While participating in projects with the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, I have decided that a Master in Professional Science in Coastal Zone Management with a specialty in marine protected areas is the program for me. These projects have showed me how important it is to protect and fight on the behalf of the coastline. The key to coastal communities surviving in today’s world is to find a way to balance economic and recreation activities with the high population density growing along the coastline. My ultimate goal is a dual one.
I hope to use my Masters in Professional Science degree to work hands-on with the public in educating and promoting the appreciation of the coastline both in the United States and internationally. I hope to also work for a government agency that helps makes policymaking decisions that affect how coastlines are used and protected.