28 May All about me: Cristal Espinosa
My name is Cristal Espinosa and welcome to my blog! I completed my B.S. in Biological Sciences at Florida International University in 2019 as a first-generation college student. I am currently a graduate student at Florida Atlantic University completing my M.S. in Environmental Science, focused on researching marine debris in mangrove forests. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, I have always had a love and passion for marine life. I completed my PADI Open Water certification in high school and try to be out on the water every chance I get, whether that be kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, etc.
During my undergrad, I worked full time on the beach leading ecological tours for the public, like kayaking, snorkeling, and beach clean-ups. This really helped me understand my love for education and outreach on conservation issues and important ecosystems. Leading beach clean-ups, while saddening to see so much trash, also helped fuel my passion and interest in conservation work. In the summer of 2020, I was granted the opportunity to work with Miami-Dade County’s Sea Turtle Conservation Program. Looking for nesting sea turtle tracks, collecting field data, and watching sea turtle hatchlings crawl to the ocean made me feel on top of the world. This experience further solidified my future career path of conservation biology and fieldwork! My dream job would be conducting research while also bridging the gap between the public through means of education and outreach. I am really interested in how we as humans are negatively impacting coastal ecosystems, and how we can work towards better management and conservation.
I am so excited to be a Mosaics in Science intern this summer working at Cape Lookout National Seashore as a Marine Biological Conservation Assistant. This is the longest and furthest I have been from home, but I can’t wait for a summer full of fieldwork, nature experiences, and hopefully lots of sea turtles! Be sure to check out my blog throughout the summer for updates on my experience 🙂