Part of Turtle Island Restoration Network’s mission is to support and encourage the next generation of conservationists. Our residential internship program does just that by providing an opportunity for interns to live and work together at our California Headquarters for a period of six months. This post highlights the  contributions and experiences of our interns.

Tory Johnson, a scuba-diving shark expert from Boulder, Colo. arrived in January as our new Shark Conservation Intern. William Bone, a biologist, outdoorsman and Phil Lesh fan from Alabama, arrived soon after to be our Habitat Restoration Intern.

“The residential internship is a great, intensive conservation experience. You eat, sleep and breathe conservation,” Tory said of Turtle Island’s residential internship program.

As an intern Tory helped to quickly translate technical science into easily understandable information, and raise public awareness about conservation issues facing sharks. She helped craft tailored messages on social media calling on the public to take action to encourage the Australian government to end the shark cull, and developed detailed fact sheets about sharks to help Turtle Island educate the public.

During her time as an intern with Turtle Island, she was able to share her passion for sharks and ocean conservation with students, the public and just about anyone who would listen by participating in Bay Area environmental events like Pacifica Eco Fest and the Ocean Film Festival.

Meanwhile, William was busy in the field helping our biologists count, track, and monitor the health of endangered coho salmon and steelhead trout in Lagunitas Creek. William was also in charge of maintaining and growing thousands of plants in our native plant nursery, as well as leading volunteer restoration activities. He spearheaded a redwood tree growth study (click here to learn more) and captured spectacular shots and videos of endangered fish in our creeks.

William says that just having Turtle Island on his resume is a huge honor and has helped him already. He will be going on to intern with St. Catherine’s Island Sea Conservation Turtle Program after this internship, and has plans to continue on to a West-Coast-based graduate school to pursue degree in conservation and ecological studies.

Tory also has big plans. She recently accepted a position as a Marine Science Instructor at the Beach Camp at Sunset Bay, and wants to go on to graduate school to further her studies in marine conservation sciences.

If you are interested in interning with Turtle Island please click here to view a list of open positions!