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Sam Shaffer
HWF Intern - Fall 2014

HWF Intern Sam Shaffer, center, educates beach goers about basking sea turtles through HWF's Honu Watch program during her internship.

"I went to work every day excited
about what different things
I would learn and see."

> I interned with Hawaii Wildlife Fund (HWF) during my high school's two-week mini-semester in January 2015. I am a sophomore at the Atlanta Girls' School in Georgia.

When I applied with HWF, I did not realize the variety of tasks I would be doing. As it turns out, I went to work every day excited about what different things I would learn and see. I did many Honu watches, where I would record data on the turtles that came ashore to bask. Part of my role was to educate tourists on the Green Sea Turtles, and ask people to respect the turtles' space by staying about 15 feet away from them. I really enjoyed learning about these beautiful creatures and then being able to share my knowledge with others. I also took part in a Turtle Transect, where I snorkeled with Hannah Bernard and other HWF volunteers in search of an injured turtle. Hannah also included me on an eco-tour of the farm where Twin Falls, a place with beautiful waterfalls, is located.

One of the eye-opening cultural experiences I had was working in a Taro patch. I learned about Taro farming and pulling out weeds. I also took part in sorting marine debris, where I discovered the variety of trash that is dumped into the ocean. I was surprised by how much plastic there was and by the amount of debris from the fishing industry. I learned so much about Maui's culture and ecosystems as an Intern and am so blessed to have been able to experience such an amazing place!


Taro Farming

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