GBF interns reflect on their summers

Elizabeth Schneider
My name is Elizabeth Schneider and I am entering my junior year as an Ocean and Coastal Resource major at Texas A&M University at Galveston. This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Galveston Bay Foundation as their Conservation Programs Intern through the ExxonMobil Community Jobs Program. The Conservation team at GBF gave me the chance to get involved through many aspects of their work. From weedeating the trails of GBF’s Turtle Bayou Nature Preserve to picking up oyster bins for GBF’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program, the team kept me busy! The large variety of projects gave me the chance to get a feel for all the great work they do for Galveston Bay. My summer was full of experiences that I will take with me throughout my future conservation endeavors. I couldn’t be more thankful for every learning opportunity that was presented to me during my time as the Conservation Programs Intern. I will always have a great appreciation for the Galveston Bay Foundation and ExxonMobil Community Jobs Program for the incredible adventures I participated in this summer.

Ted Driscoll:
The primary purpose of my internship this summer was to conduct a survey that determined how many boaters regularly use pump-out stations, as well as identify the major barriers to pump-out use in Galveston Bay and Clear Lake. I also took this opportunity to conduct outreach to marina managers and gather information regarding the state of operations of the pump-out stations themselves. During the many long, and hot, days I spent walking the docks at marinas I met many individuals who cared deeply about the health of the environment in which they choose to spend their time. I gathered valuable data that the Galveston Bay Foundation can use to educate and engage with other members of the community, and positively impacted the campaign to improve water quality in Galveston Bay. I enjoyed my time as an intern because I was given the opportunity to work with the skilled, passionate, and dedicated staff of the Galveston Bay Foundation. I am grateful for the time I was able to spend here and look forward to any future opportunities to work with them again.

Tino Quiocho: 
My internship with the Galveston Bay Foundation was as the Water Quality Research Intern. My main project this summer was to gather sufficient data and conclude why there were high levels of enterococci (fecal indicator bacteria) at Pier 19 on Galveston Island. This included me getting certified as a water quality monitor for Galveston Bay and being able to process and preserve samples for Galveston Bay Foundation’s Bacteria Lab. When I was not in Galveston, out in the summer sun, I spent most of my days entering current and past data into our database for analyzing. Every week I had new exciting things for my schedule. I would like to give a special thanks to the Water Quality Team for that, especially Lindsey Nolan for showing me the ropes and being a mentor for me. Even though my internship is at an end, I will remember the Galveston Bay Foundation as a very positive, caring, and exciting organization, and I know that I will stay in contact with them, at least as a volunteer to help monitor our water.