My name is Gabby and I am an eleventh grader from Washington D.C. For the first week in March, I had the opportunity to intern at The Ocean Foundation where I learned about different ocean issues, most I had never heard of before. Before entering the facility, I did not know the current status of the world’s oceans, and no clue what I could do to fix them. Ocean acidification wasn’t something that had ever crossed my mind, and I don’t think it would have if it wasn’t for this internship. Unfortunately, I only spent one week at the foundation but I learned more than I had anticipated. I was introduced to the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition as well as the Summit Foundation. I also had the opportunity to sit in on meetings discussing partnerships and ongoing donation driven projects.

While interning at the foundation we were asked to create a small research project and I decided to focus on Mercury poisoning more specifically Methylmercury. In roughly three days I was able to put together a presentation that I gave to a few of the foundation staff. It was interesting because after I had given the presentation someone brought up that they had suffered from mercury poisoning and confirmed my belief that this was a pressing issue. 

I decided to research Methylmercury because I have always been interested in chemistry and it was an issue I did not know anything about. It was a good opportunity to learn about something while still exploring a known interest. I become more invested in the topic than I had anticipated and have offered to give my family lessons in the effects and what we can do to prevent poisoning. 

I am extremely grateful for the time I spent at the foundation and learned more than I had expected about myself, the ocean, and foundations in general.