Nature’s Academy is thrilled to add Gabriela Garcia-Mercado to our flock this summer! Gabriela and Nature’s Academy are part of the Environmental Discovery Award, a program hosted by the Cross College Alliance. Through the Award, college students in Manatee and Sarasota counties have the chance to explore environmental careers while gaining valuable academic and professional skills. Get to know our summer intern below!
Where are you from? I grew up in Puerto Rico.
Where do you go to school? I’m a sophomore at the State College of Florida, majoring in Marine Biology.
How did you find out about this internship opportunity? My membership in the Bay 2 Baccalaureate club at my college connected me with a professor. They knew I was looking for experience with the environment and recommended the Environmental Discovery Award to me.
You’re a few weeks into your internship. How do you see this experience contributing toward your academic or professional career? I’ve already learned a lot about Florida’s wildlife. There’s lots of different critters I can identify now. I’m also getting experience with data entry.
What’s been your favorite part so far? Kayaking! I had never been kayaking before this job and it’s fun. On one of the kayak trips I saw a wild manatee for the first time.
What do you like to do outside of school or work? I like to go to the beach and catch up on my favorite shows. I also love to nap!
Gabriela is excited to continue learning about Florida’s natural spaces in addition to gaining hands-on teaching experience. Fascinated by sharks, she will be developing new and exciting materials for our spiny dogfish dissection. To add the “T” in STEM, Gabriela is currently creating an interactive map of sharks found in Florida’s waters.
Please join us in welcoming her to the Nature’s Academy flock. Gabriela, we are so excited to be part of your journey!