Ocean Office Interns
I am a graduate student at Duke University earning my master’s degree in coastal environmental management. My upbringing in coastal Maine taught me the importance of protecting coastal environments, and I am eager to pursue that work this summer through policy and advocacy, restoration, and community engagement. In my free time, you can find me hiking, cooking, or exploring new areas.
I am a Geography & Environmental Studies major at East Carolina University entering my senior year. I was born in Buffalo, but raised in Jacksonville, NC, which meant I would grow up with lovely beaches and estuaries such as Topsail and Emerald Isle nearby. Coastal areas have always had a special place in my heart and I am excited to help protect them, and hopefully learn a lot in the process. Outside of all of that, I love listening to records and playing guitar and bass with my friends.
My name is Catie McKinney, and I am a rising junior at High Point University. I am pursuing a bachelor’s in Sociology/Anthropology and minoring in Public & Professional Writing and Environmental Studies. My passion and goal is to use my knowledge of people and their connection to the environment coupled with writing to promote positive environmental and civic action. Growing up in Edenton, North Carolina, I learned from a young age that plant and animal life is sacred, and our impact on the environment plays a massive role in its well-being. I am honored to be working in communications with the Coastal Federation this summer, as it will allow me to put my skills and passions to good use while providing amazing experience within the field.
My name is Jesse Rose, and I have lived in Carteret County throughout most of my life. I am close to completing my Associate in Science at Carteret Community College. I hope to transfer to East Carolina University to complete a Bachelor’s in Biology with a minor in Coastal and Marine Studies. My family began taking me to the beach at a young age. My grandfather was the first person to take me out on a boat, and my boat rides with him exploring the waterways and islands of Carteret County were some of my first joyful experiences with marine ecosystems. I have frequently spent time running and walking in a diverse array of ecosystems throughout Carteret County. One of my mother and I’s favorite activities is walking together in natural environments and looking at the beauty of the flora, fauna, land, sea, and sky. I am interested in the relationship between human industries and economies, and the natural environment. I have a particular interest in Agriculture, with a focus on sustainable farming techniques that function in concert with the natural environment. I am also interested in Aquaculture as it relates to plants, with a specific focus on seaweed and kelp, their beneficial and stabilizing effects on marine ecosystems, and their potential dietary applications.
I am a rising senior working towards a bachelor’s in environmental science with a focal area in Environmental Justice and a minor in political science at North Carolina State University. I have lived in the Swansboro area for most of my life and have engaged with some environmental organizations in the area before. My father was the figure in my life that exposed me to the environment from a young age, whether it be walking nature trails or watching documentaries. We were always engaging with the environment somehow and I was allowed to be curious. I love to bike on trails around where I live in Raleigh and hang out with friends whenever I can.
Coastal Management Interns
I am a senior undergraduate student studying civil engineering at Virginia Tech. My main areas of interest are natural hazard mitigation, coastal geotechnics, and water resources. I’m a southeast Virginia native, but I’m thrilled to be working in Wrightsville Beach and playing a part in protecting the area’s natural beauty!
Anika is a second-year graduate student studying Coastal and Ocean Policy at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. As a Wrightsville Beach native and avid sailor, Anika has always held the ocean and our coast in high regard. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from UNCW in 2022 and chose to enter the world of coastal management in order to more effectively make a difference and help protect our coast. She is excited to work with Kerri, Elsbeth, and the NCCF staff this summer as a Coastal Management Intern at the Southeast Office!
Z. Smith Reynolds Interns
Hey everyone! My name is Morgan Rigsbee, I am about to be starting my 4th year at UNCW seeking a degree in Environmental Engineering. I’m very passionate about what I’m going to school for and can’t wait to gain more experience in the field. When I’m not in school or working at Wrightsville Beach Brewery, I love hanging with my cat and crocheting. I also love going on walks and going to the beach.
Education & Outreach
My name is Ashley Caine and I am a junior studying Environmental Science with a concentration in conservation and minors in Sustainability and Nonprofit management and leadership at UNCW. I am from Baltimore, Maryland and spent last fall studying abroad in Sorrento, Italy. I work as a study abroad ambassador and peer educator for the Office of Sustainability at UNCW. Next year, I will become lead peer educator, working to connect students with sustainability on campus. I look forward to working as the Education and Outreach intern this summer for the NC Coastal Federation.
I am a second-year MPH student from UNC-Chapel Hill, concentrating in Environmental Health Solutions! I received my BSPH in Environmental Health Sciences with minors in chemistry and medical anthropology from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2023. My general research interests include water sanitation and the effects of climate change, especially in rural communities. In my free time, I love to spend time with my dog, read, and go on hikes!
Coastal Policy Interns
My name is Jacob Thomas and I am a rising senior at UNC Chapel Hill. I am pursuing a major in History with a minor in African and African American Diaspora Studies, and I plan on attending graduate school for Maritime Archaeology after I graduate. As a lifelong resident of the Outer Banks I am fueled by my desire to help protect the natural environment that shaped my upbringing while learning more about the processes in place that will shape the island for years to come. I love playing soccer and surfing with my friends in my free time!