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Kelcie Troutman, a junior, majoring in marine biology at the St. Thomas campus of the University of the Virgin Islands, had the perfect internship this summer.

Her experience at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge was so great she wants to pursue more internships.

Troutman, 20, says the best part of her internship was doing outreach conducting sea turtle nesting and hatching watches with the public through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The Student Temporary Employment Program provides students who live on the island in VIRGIN ISLANDS REAL ESTATE with opportunities to serve and protect national parks, forests and urban communities.

Troutman says the environment is all interconnected. What happens in one habitat can directly or indirectly affect another.

“Mangroves and coral reefs are prime example of this,” Troutman says. “With mangroves gone, sediment that is usually trapped by their roots flows freely to the ocean and smothers nearby coral reefs.” she added.