Participant’s Comments

On The Water With Humpbacks

January Internship:

“It was truly life changing. It was a one in a million experience and I learned so much not just about the whales and the environment, but about myself as well. This experience is one that I wouldn't trade or give up for anything! I definitely would recommend it to anyone!”
--Caitlyn Wiegand

“This internship experience with the Ocean Mammal Institute and Dr. Green was the most incredible experience of my life! The hands on field research was exciting every day, and the evening lectures were so interesting and really helped put environmental issues into perspective. I got out so much more from this experience than I had ever expected. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who cares about the environment and wants to learn in a unique experience.”
--Amanda Daly

“The three weeks I spent on Maui with the Ocean Mammal Institute were some of the best in my life. Dr. Green's passion made a lasting impact on me, and I can honestly say that I've been changed for the better. The work we did was rewarding and to know that it can make an impact on the lives of the whales is one of the best feelings I could imagine. I would recommend this program to anyone willing to learn about the environment and most importantly, themselves.”
--Hayley Diverio

“My experience with OMI was life changing. I had my eyes opened to a variety of information that I was not aware of prior to the internship. I recommend this once in a lifetime experience to everyone.”
--Tiffany Simar

“I had high expectations going into the internship and it met and exceeded them. You can learn about the Hawaiian Humpback whales by reading or watching videos of them, but there is nothing like seeing them! They are amazingly beautiful and mesmerizing creatures to watch. It was a great opportunity to do field work/research on a topic I'm interested in. The nightly lectures brought a more world view of topics related to the Humpback whales and interconnectedness between issues surrounding them and topics such as government, economics, globalization, global climate change, and many others. It was one of the most life changing experiences I've had and would definitely recommend this program to others.”
--Kyra Pesso

“I loved every experience I had in Hawaii. It was educational, enlightening, and exciting! I was able to meet and connect with people from all over the country who share my passion for whales, and we were able to learn and work together through this incredible opportunity. I plan to take my experience with me and apply my new knowledge to future endeavors. I enjoyed learning about the research perspective, and I plan to pursue more research opportunities as well. The field work was such a new experience but I found it to be very exciting, and enjoyable. I liked being out in the real world doing the research, as opposed to analyzing other research that I'm accustomed too.”
--Catherine Bevens

“The program as a whole was amazing. The experiences were once in a lifetime opportunities and I had a great time. The field work was my favorite part of the program.”
--Alex Vidal

“The program exceeded far beyond my expectations. I didn't expect to learn so much about other things besides whales like the environment, the government, and myself. I didn't expect to meet such amazing people and I definitely didn't expect such an incredibly smart and achieved woman like Dr. Green to be so open to getting to know her students and training them for the world. The evening discussions were unlike anything I had ever experienced. I have never had an instructor who was able to get me so engaged in the class and I loved every single topic that was discussed. Even the most difficult topics were somehow so easy to understand when Dr. Green explained them because you could see the passion flowing from her. It definitely exceeded my expectation.”
--Chelsey Gloor

“I would absolutely recommend this internship to others. It was the greatest and most influential learning experience of my life. The field work was great. I was able to learn a lot about the natural habits of the humpback whales. The theodolite is a great tool, and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn how to use it. It is a very helpful tool in the field of marine biology, and the field work made it possible for the students to get used to using the theodolite.”
--Leah Tanner

“I was hoping to gain useful field research skills and I did exactly that through going into the field every day and learning how to analyze the data afterwards and putting everything into a paper at the end of the course. I would recommend this course to others. It gets you firsthand experience in field research that you may not be able to get somewhere unless with a professor. But during this course you will be learning from previous students who you can relate to better and that you can also learn so much more from that isn't related to the course.”
--Zachary Kelly

“I was impacted by my experience in Maui, the amazing feeling you get actually seeing this great animal is unimaginable. The knowledge you get with that is enormous. You don't just learn about the whales and how humans are impacting them, you learn about the world around you. Things like GMOs, PR, Globalization, Captivity, Pollution, Global Warming, etc. There is so much I won't name everything, but the class is a total must!”
--Christine McCoy

“I would recommend this internship to others. Overall it was a great learning experience. This course does change the way you think and feel about human impact on the environment. No matter whether this line of work is someone's career choice or not you will be positively changed from this course. Maui is also a beautiful place filled with native people that you learn from just being around them. It is refreshing being in a place where almost everyone has a love of the environment and the issues affecting it.”
--Katrina Tecxidor

“This program is learning and growing experience. It is hard work, and takes dedication, but the rewards at the end are priceless. You will have so much fun watching the whales, and even interpreting the data at the end of the day. This internship is not just about learning future aspects of the field, but also about growing as an emotional and passionate person. This class is for those who are passionate about learning about the world.”
--Tara Todd

“I recommend this program to anyone who loves nature, culture, and being around people that can really teach you things about the world and yourself. The OMI Research Internship opened my eyes to the state of the natural world and gave me a new perspective on a lot of current issues. And the whales are absolutely amazing! I'll never forget my experience in Maui.”
--Molly Vocino

“I learned a lot in the field and I also learned a lot about the state of the world, not just the ocean. The field work taught me a lot of new techniques and I enjoyed working with new equipment and learning about different observation methods. The evening discussions exceeded my expectations because we discussed many topics that are very important to our world. The articles were a good supplement to the class and I enjoyed the discussion based atmosphere.”
--Sara Grimes

“The information we read and talked about was all so relevant and eye-opening. I was aware of much of the information already, but it was interesting to read different peoples' perspectives and hear about real life stories from the people who lived them. You learn a lot, meet many fun and interesting people, get to experience whale research, the location is wonderful, and the information you receive goes beyond humpback whale facts and statistics to things you can use daily to improve oneself and the environment.”
--Jennifer Welch

“The program went above and beyond my expectations. I did not think I would learn so much in such a short amount of time. I had the best time during this internship and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone! It was a great way to learn about research techniques and plotting. This was just the beginning of my career in marine mammalogy and I cannot think of a better starting point.”
--Heather Letzkus

“The research experience made me feel like I was a part of something great and that a small group of people can work together to make a difference.”
--Carrie Kellams

“The internship is very intensive and completely immerses the students. Working with peers in research teams and learning together also teaches valuable people skills and prepares students to work with research teams, coworkers, and employers in the future. Overall, the program is a perfect preparatory experience for students regardless of whether or not you are going into environmental conservation. It may be even more important for those who aren't.”
--Sarah King

“The field work definitely exceeded my expectations. It was a great learning experience and really gave me a feel for what it was like to have a career in marine mammal research. I would definitely recommend this internship to anyone who is interested in marine mammal research”
--Lindsay Hemphill

“I had the best time of my life.”
--Jill Neilson

“I loved the internship and I dare say it changed my life.”
--Mary Tarara

“I thought this was an unbelievable experience. I have learned so much about not just the whales, but the world as well. I think / wish all of my classes were this informative on the world and environment.”
--Jessica Parker

“Experience of a lifetime, informative and educational, meet great people, first hand look at the cold hard facts.”
--Tara Crane

“It is an incredible experience! A real eye opener to the status of the whales. Everyone should know this and what a wonderful way to learn about them.”
--Linde McNamara

“I learned so much about humpback whales, other marine life, and the ethics and politics of our government. This was the most beneficial internship I've gone through. I 'am very pleased to have been given the opportunity to experience this.”
--Miriam Reyes

“This was a great way to gain first hand experience and I would highly recommend this internship to anyone interested in any type research.”
--Jennifer Morin

February Internship:

“I learned so much about dolphins and the beauty of their lifestyle. I recommend this program to others so they may broaden their perspectives not only by immersing themselves in the lives of the dolphins, but also by their interaction with the many types of people they will meet during their time in Hawaii.”
--Lily Brown

“I felt like I learned a great deal about cetaceans and got a full understanding of the reasons for and the importance of this research. The evening discussions were informative and enjoyable, and the guest speakers were fascinating. I came to Hawaii to learn about dolphins, but I am leaving here having gained so much more. I have a greater understanding of a number of environmental conservation issues, and the place of dolphin research within that. I couldn't have asked for a more relaxing and beautiful location, and our accommodations were wonderful. Overall, it's been an eye-opening and well-spent three weeks.”
--Steven Porter

Summer Internship:

“Not only did I learn about psychobiological field research but I also learned a lot about the cultures. The OMI program brings a very open-minded attitude when dealing with the native culture. Many of the natives are protective of the land and culture since both are endangered. OMI does research in the best interest of the cetaceans, in the best interest of Hawaii and in the best interest of science. I am a psychology major at UC Santa Cruz, and have done a good deal of lab research. I take a very serious and professional attitude about research. Though the field research OMI does is professional, it is very relaxing and light -hearted climate. "Science protecting Nature" is good for cetaceans and good for the soul. I think about my experiences there as not my past but my present; I know I will go back again.”
--Matt Jezzi

“This has been the greatest experience of my life. I have learned so much about research, and I really wasn't expecting to have so much hands on as we all did. The discussions also taught me a lot and just the entire atmosphere of this internship was completely amazing and a lot more that I could ever have imagined it to be! The dolphins without saying were 100% worth this entire experience. I was so fortunate to be part of such an adventure!”
--Joanna Campo

“Being a part of Ocean Mammal Institute has been an amazing part of my life. Not only have I been given the opportunity to work with amazing people, but I have also realized that education plays a huge role in protecting the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins.”
--Elizabeth Parrish

“I learned a great deal about dolphins, but also about people and community as well. Overall it was an amazing, eye-opening event in my life. This experience gave me more knowledge to back up my beliefs and to share with others.”
--Caryn Beiter

“This has been a wonderful opportunity to gain research experience and meet people who share my interest in marine mammals. I will treasure the time spent learning about the Hawaiian culture and its people.”
--Brooke Heher

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