Hi! My name is Jessica Jenkins and I am one of the Communications Interns at Maryland LCV this summer. I am a sophomore at the University of Delaware studying English with minors in the Environmental Humanities and Journalism. I am originally from Marriottsville, MD but have spent my life frequently visiting my grandparent’s house in Shady Side, where I fell in love with the Chesapeake Bay.

My junior year of high school, as a part of my Girl Scout Gold Award, I was a citizen oyster gardener for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, creating a series of four instructional videos and a blog aimed to help high school students learn how the oyster gardening process takes place and inspire them to get involved. These videos were posted on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Student Wave site, a site devoted to getting high-school age youth active in helping the Bay. I was integral in the creation of the Oyster Gardening page, making the videos, providing the pictures and serving as the face of the page.

In 2015 I became a Social Media Correspondent, creating posts for the foundation’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even writing a guest post on their blog. I also attended the Base Camp to the Environmental Legislative Summit as a student representative for CBF. I spoke as a part of the “Sharing Success With Environmental Projects” Student Forum at the Howard County GreenFest in 2015 as well as being interviewed for Maryland Public Television’s “Concert for the Chesapeake Bay” (time mark 43:17) as a representative for the Student Wave and a student environmental activist. My time volunteering with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation was an excellent opportunity to showcase and grow my skills in writing and my enthusiasm for the Chesapeake Bay.

My freshman year of college I was an intern for MARACOOS or the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System, a non-profit regional association (a part of the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) within the University of Delaware) of academic, government, and private sector entities operating between Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras to collect oceanographic data and provide information products to address societal needs in our ocean and coastal areas. I wrote the Annual Report for 2015, attended the company’s Annual Meeting, and wrote the meeting recap for the company’s newsletter as well. I learned physical oceanography through the company’s use of buoys and other instruments to collect ocean statistics. I also participated in the company’s breakout sessions on ocean acidification and harmful algal blooms. My time with MARACOOS supplemented my knowledge of local oceans and estuaries as well as providing professional experience on conservation within and across MD state lines.

I am very excited to be an intern for Maryland LCV this summer and have a closer look at how conservation works in Maryland from a policy and government standpoint. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to create blog posts and other media in order to get people involved and interested in helping the varied environment in our beautiful state. I am optimistic that I will be writing to inspire real change. I find the world of environmental conservation full of inspiring people now more than ever. Maryland LCV reaffirms my faith that every day passionate people work hard to be stewards for the environment and leave the world a better place than they found it.