Virginia Sea Grant Welcomes Summer Interns

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Virginia Sea Grant Welcomes Summer Interns

Welcome to the 2017 summer science communication interns. This cohort of multimedia coastal and marine science communicators are embarking on an innovative transmedia storytelling research project that seeks to better understand the strengths and limitations of a divergent multimedia narrative. The group consists of four creatives who will be producing a number of stories that focus on the unique science-brokering partnerships that Virginia Sea Grant specializes in, and two researchers who will test four hypotheses related to the communication of science using this transmedia model.

Sarah Ruiz, a William and Mary senior studying science communication, was originally drawn to the Virginia Sea Grant science writing internship because of her love for marine conservation, and her desire to communicate important stories from scientists across many disciplines. Her other academic interests include sustainability, biodiversity, space exploration, and alternative energy. In her free time, she enjoys drawing and painting. She has previously interned for the Jane Goodall Institute and traveled to Hawaii for a recently published story about the Thirty Meter Telescope through the Pulitzer Center. Whenever she can, she steals away to her family home in Richmond, Virginia to enjoy the myriad of delicious restaurants, and her beloved dog, Ellie.

Danny Diaz-Etchevehere, a recent University of Rochester graduate in environmental sciences, decided to continue his education into a fifth year to pursue his passion of digital media and art. Having previously worked on research at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, virtual reality data visualization at the MIT Media Lab, and personal art projects, Diaz-Etchevehere saw the multimedia science communication internship as the perfect integration of his experiences. Danny spends the majority of his free time drawing and watching animation, particularly the work of Studio Ghibli. His academic interests include climate science, oceanography, and computer science. His portfolio work can be viewed at

Jessica Hubbard
, a second-year master’s student in the graduate science communication certificate program at George Mason University, joins the Virginia Sea Grant internship team in the hopes of learning how to better communicate science, in particular climate change. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor in Atmospheric Science, and was the recipient of the Cornell Meteorology 2016 Sunshine Award for her happy demeanor. She began her academic career at a community college as a first generation student, and is extremely proud of the hard work that allowed her to transfer to a prestigious university. In her free time, she plays the clarinet and is a self-proclaimed “band geek.” More about Jessica can be found at

Jessica Taylor is a Photography and Filmmaking student at Virginia Commonwealth University, hoping to graduate in spring of 2018. Her work has primarily focused on the study of memory formation, and the culture of the American South, with an emphasis on home and familial relationships. She is currently working on a six-month photography project that will explore the concepts of shared memory and identity, and their connections to the American South. Jessica considers photography a tool for investigation, so she was interested in putting that tool to use to inform and educate the public about marine and coastal science. She is excited to be working in a team with the other writing and multimedia interns. Previously, Jessica completed a piece entitled 73,505 Americans about an accidental shooting that occurred in her family. Jessica hails from the North Carolina Piedmont Region, a landscape of farms, lakes and red clay. Her work can be found at

Paige Bellamy is a student at Virginia Commonwealth University, earning her Bachelors of Science in Biology, and will be graduating in the fall of 2017. Her main academic focuses include environmental sustainability and ocean conservation. She first visited the VIMS campus with a class and fell in love with the atmosphere. Paige was excited by the research being conducted at VIMS, and decided to apply for the Sea Grant internship, as she was drawn to the incredible efforts of the fellows, and to support the work VASG facilitates in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Paige used to live in Alaska but now calls the Blue Ridge Mountains home, nestled in between Shenandoah and George Washington National Parks. She is currently planning a northbound thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, which she will begin February 2018. The six-month hike will take her from Georgia to Maine. She is scuba certified, and loves to read science fiction and fantasy novels in her free time. Her favorite fish is the large and lumpy Ocean Sunfish.

Peter Jacobs is a Ph.D. candidate for Environmental Science and Public Policy at George Mason University. He originally attended the College of William and Mary for his bachelor’s degree in English before earning his Master in Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason. Within environmental science he is primarily interested in the subjects of paleoclimate, science communication, and climate and its impacts on marine ecosystems. Having worked around people who were involved with Sea Grant in the past, Jacobs was excited for the opportunity to get involved with science communication at Sea Grant. Jacobs’ home is the capital city itself, Washington, D.C.