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2014-15 CEB Interns


Megan Crawford – 4th Year UC Irvine Student, Major: Earth System Science, specializing in Hydrology and Terrestrial Ecosystems, Minors: Biological Sciences & Global Sustainability

I love being outdoors in nature and participating in scientific research to help understand and preserve our natural ecosystems on Earth. This internship has allowed me do both of these, while also exploring various career options in environmental science and restoration ecology. My favorite aspect of this yearlong program is the hands-on field research at several restoration sites in Orange County. After this valuable experience with CEB, I feel better prepared to begin the next chapter of my life following graduation.

Nora Finch

Nora Finch – 4th Year UC Irvine Student, Major: Social Ecology

Since coming to UCI, I’d hoped to find an opportunity to combine my interests of working in educational settings and learning more about the environment in which we live. As a Social Ecology major, there is nothing more important to me than helping people to understand our influence as humans on our environment. CEB has provided me with that opportunity and many more while also providing me a foundation for a future career in environmental education.


Robert Fofrich – 3rd Year UC Irvine Student, Major: Earth System Science in Hydrology and Terrestrial Ecosystems

I am very interested in conservation, ecological restoration, wildlife, geology, and learning about our planet overall. The Earth is currently undergoing a sixth great extinction. However, unlike past great extinctions, which were caused by natural events, this one is caused by human activities. Over the last 40 years, our planet has lost 50 percent of its species. Due to this fact, I like to work on projects that directly restore and protect our diminishing ecosystems. Through CEB, I have gone out to numerous field sites across Orange County, conducted field research, and secured funding to create interpretive signs for UCI’s Ecological Preserve. I have enjoyed all of my work at CEB because it has allowed me to restore habitat which is crucial for Southern California wildlife.

Chris Halsch

Chris Halsch – 4th year UC Irvine Student, Majors: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Earth Systems Science

I am very interested in issues relating to ecosystems and climate change. Being a CEB intern has provided an excellent experience in working in the field, in a lab, analyzing data, and writing. It also provided a great example of how to work with other organizations with common interests to a reach a goal. Finally, the mix of field based research and education and outreach is very unique experience: it provides a way for those interested in research to learn how to teach, and those interested in teaching to learn about research. I feel it has helped make me a very well rounded candidate for future jobs and graduate programs.

Shannon Lee1

Shannon Lee – 2nd Year UC Irvine Student; Major: Biological Sciences

I believe that we live in a time-based world where we are constantly consumed by daily tasks that we don’t necessarily need to survive. I decided that I wanted to do the CEB internship because I wanted time to just be outside learning about conservation and just being submerged in nature. Working at the Back Bay Science Center has taught me so much about restoration and sustainability in addition to how to educate a general population about our environment.

Suzanne Jarmusch

Suzanne Jarmusch – 4th Year UC Irvine Student, Major: Earth Systems Science

I have always enjoyed being outdoors and in nature, so I knew I wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on the environment. I fell into restoration ecology through volunteer experiences and I am excited that I get to be involved with the research side of restoration. Being an intern has given me the opportunity to understand the science and methods involved with restoring native vegetation and habitats.

Araceli Jimenez – 4th year UC Irvine Student, Majors: Earth System Science and Education Sciences

The CEB internship has the best of both worlds where it provides various opportunities such as doing research out in different field sites within Orange County and teaching the public about the process of science. I have been grateful to experience both of the opportunities the internship has to offer, which have assisted me in shaping my career goals of becoming a science educator. Before entering the program, I was indecisive of whether going into research or becoming an educator, but after going through the experiences, I realized that teaching science is what I am passionate about.

Kaitlin Magliano

Kaitlin Magliano – 4th year UC Irvine Student, Major: Biological Sciences

There really is no other opportunity on campus quite like the CEB internship. I’ve had the chance to explore the hidden beauty of Orange County while conducting field research, and I’ve gotten to share my love of science with students through education and outreach. I entered the internship with only vague ideas of what I wanted to do after college and discovered how much I love informal science education. After college, I hope to work in a zoo or aquarium educating the public about wildlife and conservation.


Christine Nguyen – 4th Year UC Irvine Student, Majors: Environmental Science, Physical Sciences

Environmental science is one of my life passions, and this internship was perfect for exploring restoration research and informal science education. I love going outdoors into the field for research days, and I enjoy the experience of translating science for educating the public. It’s a great privilege to be part of this internship and see the restricted natural lands of OC, go out on citizen science boat cruises, develop valuable research and professional skills, and work closely with the education/ecology experts and professionals of the program. The greatest honor is writing a senior thesis based on one of the restoration experiments, and the academic achievement will stand as the highlight of my final quarter as a graduating senior.


Mackenzie Peich – 2nd year UC Irvine Student, Major: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Minor: Global Sustainability

This is my second year in the internship program, and I have been lucky enough to continue closely working with Crystal Cove Alliance. I am most excited about the exhibit another intern and I had the opportunity to create from scratch on important plankton of the area, called ‘The Little Guys of the Sea’. Being a part of this program has widened my interests to informal education as well as research. I now hope to go into a career that joins sustainability, ecology, and education into one.

Rachel Pennington – 2nd year UC Irvine Student, Major: Environmental Science, Minor: Global Sustainability

Over the past two years, CEB has given me the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to science engagement and learning. I have learned more about education and research methods, and have been given opportunities to put this knowledge to use in the form of many educational programs I have helped create through CEB’s partner Crystal Cove Alliance. I have even been able to create my own exhibit on plankton called “Little Guys of the Sea,” currently on display in Crystal Cove’s Historic District. I hope to one day have a career in informal science education.

Esperanza Perez

Esperanza Perez – 4th year UC Irvine Student, Major: Earth System Science

Being part of the CEB Internship has been an amazing opportunity. Going into the internship, I knew I wanted to work with local environmental issues—maybe work in a lab, but through this internship I realized that I have another passion, science education. I knew I liked working with kids but never really thought of informal science education as a possible career. This internship has given me the opportunity to be able to explore fieldwork, lab work, and informal science education. Now I know what other opportunities are out there and I hope to find a career that can combine my passion for environmental science and kids.

Jaenna Wessling

Jaenna Wessling – 4th Year UC Irvine Student. Major: Earth System Science, Minor: Global Sustainability with a concentration in Oceanography

Working with the Center for Environmental Biology has allowed me to broaden my environmental, academic, and education interests. Growing up in San Diego, California I had always thought that I’d only like to study the oceans. Working with CEB and the Newport Back Bay Science Center has allowed me to learn about ecology and education in informal science by leading salt marsh tours and teaching planting workshops. These experiences as an Education and Outreach intern have helped to shift my ideal area of study to intertidal and estuarine ecosystems where the ocean, rivers, and land meet. In the future, I hope to share this knowledge and apply my experiences through a career that fosters students’ passion for the environment and science.