A Day in the Life of an SSC Intern

Sammie Powers | Marketing Intern

My day at the Seacoast Science Center (SSC) began by holding a salty wet rock with an anemone on it. You might not think that is surprising for an intern at SSC, but it was for me. I’m a Marketing Intern, and I spend most of my time working in the office on social media posts or researching for a new marketing campaign. I’ve learned a lot about the ins and outs of marketing for a non-profit and have been part of many exciting special projects.

I’ve learned about so much more than marketing during my internship. Most mornings when I arrive, I am greeted by surprising news, like a lobster is in the middle of molting, or an exciting new fish has been added to a tank. I might observe a program and get to pet a chain cat shark, film a little skate, or hold a sea urchin. I never quite know what to expect from a day at the Center and that’s what has made my internship so educational and enjoyable.

Recently, SSC Aquarist Rob Royer and a job-shadowing high school student were doing a thorough cleaning of one of the aquariums and I was asked to take some photos and write about the process for a social media post. While the tanks at SSC have regular cleanings every few days, an entire tank clean, where the water is drained and everything is removed, only occurs about twice per year. I was ready to get my hands wet and learn more!

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First, several of the creatures, such as this sea cucumber and some sea urchins, were temporality relocated to small buckets.

Then, the water was drained everything in the tank was removed.

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All surfaces of the tank surfaces were cleaned, including the fabricated rock wall.

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After the cleaning, new rock structures would be placed in the tank, and some new fish would be introduced into the system. However, some of the animals were attached to the old rocks, literally!

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A large anemone clinging to one of the old rocks.

This morning, my goal was to show our Facebook fans how we maintain our tanks, but I was lucky to have a true first hand experience myself—two very slimy hands! I helped remove anemones from several rocks so we could introduce new rocks into the system; an unusual task, but a fun one. With Rob’s help, I was able to successfully transfer the anemones to their temporary home until their tank was ready.

 

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The sparkling clean tank.

Once the acrylic tank and its structures were cleaned, and the new rocks arranged, the creatures were reintroduced to a sparkling clean tank.

My internship has brought opportunities like this almost every day I have been at the Center. There’s always something new and exciting to explore. While my focus is on marketing, I have learned so much about marine science, and the many challenges facing the ocean and marine life. My long-time love for the ocean has intensified and I’ve developed a deeper understanding of its importance in our world.

As you can see, my day really can include just about anything. My internship at the Seacoast Science Center has been a unique and incredible learning experience. I never imagined that my love for the ocean and my interest in marketing could come together in such a great way.