RACHEL KARPINSKI

From: North Andover, Massachusetts, USA.

Education/Background: Bachelors of Science in Marine Science from Coastal Carolina University. I will be pursuing my MS and PhD in the near future.

Reasons for coming: I am from a small town in Massachusetts where I knew early on that I wanted to become a marine biologist however I was unsure of the steps it would take to get there. I took the first step by attending Coastal Carolina University and graduating with a bachelors in Marine Science in 2019. While I was at school I joined my professor, Dan Abel, on many of his shark research trips where we went out on a boat all day and set longlines. I also took courses that required a lot of field work, including a shark biology course where I actually got to stay at the Bimini Biological Field Station for a week and learn all about its current research. The lab really helped clarify which path I wanted to take with marine biology, especially Matt Smukall’s presentation on the spatial ecology of tiger sharks around Bimini. That is when I knew I wanted to specialize in shark ecology.
The day after I graduated, I started my job at the New England Aquarium where I was taught all about the different ecosystems all over the world, including temperate waters, Caribbean reefs, Indo-Pacific reefs, as well as the Amazon Rainforest. Working at the aquarium was an amazing experience and a great starting point however I realized the best way to achieve my goal is to go back to school and get a higher education. Before I went back, I wanted to get more field experience under my belt, so immediately I thought of the Bimini Shark Lab and the volunteer program it had. I am hoping this opportunity will give me all of the field experience and knowledge I will need to further my career in shark ecology and I am so excited to do it with such passionate and like-minded people!

RACHEL KARPINSKI