Summer Student Work: Connecticut Post profiles bird-bedecked aquarium intern Geissinger ’14

Emilie Geissinger '14.

Emilie Geissinger ’14.

The Connecticut Post describes a day in the life of Emilie Geissinger ’14, a summer intern at the Marine Aquarium in Norwalk.

Besides interning at the aquarium and working as a life guard this summer (Geissinger is a varsity Bates swimmer), she’s also working on her senior thesis in biology.

With Professor of Biology Will Ambrose as her adviser, Geissinger is investigating the eating habits of an eel-like fish called the wrymouth. To do her fieldwork, she’s made a nearly 10-hour drive to Machias, far down the coast of Maine.

Geissinger tells Bates News that she took the aquarium internship to gain hands-on experience in marine biology.

“The skills and knowledge I have picked up here will benefit me as I continue pursuing marine biology,” she says. “I knew very little about animal husbandry before working at Maritime, so this is a major new tool for my ‘tool kit.'”

Connecticut Post reporter Tim Loh underscores the importance of internships for college students, noting that “nationwide, two out of three college students will at some point in their studies take part in an internship or cooperative education assignment, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.”

Stopping by the kid-friendly lorikeet aviary was part of intern Emilie Geissinger's duties at the Maritime Aquarium. Photograph courtesy of the Maritime Aquarium.

Stopping by the kid-friendly lorikeet aviary was part of intern Geissinger’s aquarium duties. Photograph courtesy of the Maritime Aquarium.

Loh opens his story with Geissinger entering an aviary housing about 50 small, brightly colored parrots known as lorikeets.

Geissinger carries a tray of nectar, and “before long, the 21-year-old had six lorikeets perched on various parts of her upper body,” writes Loh.

The sight of a bird-bedecked human attracts a little boy. As he approaches Geissinger, she eases herself down to him.

“I’m a friend to animals too,” says the boy.

“I can tell,” Geissinger replies as a bird hops over to him. “These birds have a way of knowing.”

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