Intern house

 The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
Internship Program

An internship offers students the opportunity
to work hands on with endangered and threatened sea turtles.

Summer Internships are a minimum of twelve weeks
Housing is provided for the twelve week program
Internships are not
limited to summer.

Work at the center includes:

Preparation and distribution of  food

Cleaning tanks

Working with the water system

Involvement in  medical procedures and the administration
of some medications

Introducing  the public to sea turtles and the goals of  the hospital, during afternoon visiting hours.


  Codie Belt, Candice Slosek, Rae Frey, Katie Hoffman, Bri Bryan, Kristen Swerzenski, Mike Fitzsimmons  and Anthony Galavotti

Major: Environmental Science
My name is Anthony Galavotti and I am a rising senior at Western Carolina University and my degree will be in Environmental Science. I did the internship at the Sea Turtle Hospital last summer and I am back for round two as the Intern Team Leader. The interns are great this year and I take pride in saying the turtles are in great hands. The hospital is a very special place to me and a very special place in general. Watching the turtles progress every day and being able to play a role in their recovery is an incredible and rewarding job, and seeing them eventually be able to return home is why the entire staff puts in the tremendous work that they do. I know that this summer will be a great one and I look forward to spending it with a great group of interns and volunteers.

Major: Business

Hey, I'm Codie Belt and I'm a Junior at Baylor University. I am from Tyler, Texas and currently a business major planning on going into finance. I am very passionate about wildlife and spend a lot of my time hunting and fishing. This past year I had to give a speech about the trash islands caught in gyres throughout the world's oceans and the impacts they have on their environment. Through this I was able to see the effects that plastics were having on sea turtles and other animals. I knew I wanted to help and was fortunate to have stumbled upon the hospital's website and gotten accepted. This has been an incredible experience for me so far and I am very thankful to have the opportunity to spend my summer at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

Major: Biology
Minor: American Sign Language/Deaf Studies

My name is Bri Bryan and I am a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I’m a biology major with a minor in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies. Growing up in Wilmington, NC, I’ve been around the ocean and marine wildlife my whole life. I’ve always had a heart for conservation and protecting the place I call home. This past summer I went to Tortuguero, Costa Rica where I worked with nesting green sea turtles. It was the most incredible experience watching those turtles emerge from the ocean to nest and it really confirmed for me that I am on the right path with my studies. 

I first learned and volunteered at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital through a sea turtle biology class at UNCG. From the moment I walked into the hospital, I dreamed of being an intern here and getting to work with turtles everyday. I feel so fortunate to walk into the hospital every morning and play a small role in sea turtle rehabilitation. Every day is an adventure here, and I’m so excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store! [READ MORE]

Major: Biology
Minor: Nutritional Sciences

My name is Mike Fitzsimmons, and I am a rising junior at the University of California, Berkeley. I am a biology major with a minor in nutritional sciences and I plan to go to medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon. As long as I can remember I have been an absolute turtle and tortoise fanatic. I have two African Sulcata tortoises, Travis and Marshmallow, at my home in San Jose. When I got my tortoises they both fit in the palm of my hand; thirteen years later they both weigh almost 100 pounds! Nothing makes me happier than being with turtles and tortoises. It is a dream come true to work here at the Karen Beasley Center because I get to really help the animals I love so much. Sea turtles are in real trouble and the work done here at the center makes a big difference. I am proud and honored to work here with such an amazing group of people who all have a clear passion for helping sea turtles. [READ MORE]


Major: Environmental Science

My name is Raiana Frey. I am a rising junior at New York University, where I study Environmental Science. I am from Atlanta, where I worked last summer in the Butterfly Encounter program of the Chattahoochee Nature Center. That experience really solidified my fondness for and adoration of animals. During the past school year, I also had the privilege of teaching first and second graders in New York City Public Schools about Earth and Environmental Science through the non-profit organization Sprout Up. In my spare time, I enjoy playing violin, video games and stand-up paddle-boarding.

Interning at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital and Rehabilitation Center is a perfect match for my beliefs in wildlife conservation and environmental education for all ages. It is truly an empowering experience to work with and learn from these turtles each and every day, and to have the chance to make a real difference. Ms. Jean, the staff, and volunteers here have provided me with a unique hands on experience and a priceless opportunity to enhance my knowledge and expand my appreciation of and empathy for the turtles, the sea, and the environment as a whole.

Major: Marine Biology
Minor: Music

My name is Katie Hoffman and I am a rising senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I am majoring in marine biology with a minor in music. I am from St. Mary’s County in southern Maryland. I have always had a love for turtles, beginning in fourth grade when I got my first pet turtle, Lucky. I began working with sea turtles in the spring of 2015 when I did the Saturday internship through UNCW at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital. I instantly fell in love with the place and came back to volunteer throughout the year, and was lucky enough to be able to come back to participate in the summer internship. It’s safe to say I can’t stay away from the sea turtle hospital, its remarkable patients, and its hard-working volunteers. So far my experience has been nothing short of inspirational, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for the rest of the summer!

Major: Biology
Minor: Natural Resources Conservation

My name is Candice Slosek. I am a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and I am a biology major with a minor in natural resources conservation. My dream is to become a wildlife rehabilitator, so this internship is absolutely perfect. In the past, I have had the privilege of working with and learning about many different species of wildlife, especially during my expeditions to South Africa and Peru. However, I have never had the opportunity to work with sea turtles, and they have been one of my favorite animals for a long while.

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is, in my opinion, the best place possible to not only learn a wealth of information about sea turtles, but also to learn about wildlife rehabilitation in general and embark on a journey of self-discovery. Ms. Jean constantly uplifts us and encourages us to be the best people we can be, and to open our hearts to all wildlife we share the planet with. The sense of community and purpose I feel when I am at the center is overwhelming in the greatest way, and I am only a week into the internship. I cannot wait to see what the rest of this adventure brings.

Major: Biology/Pre-Veterinary Medicine
My name is Kristen and I am from Jefferson Township, NJ. Currently I am a senior biology major/pre-veterinary medicine student at the Rochester Institute of Technology with big dreams to one day attend veterinary school. Growing up I have always been drawn to the ocean and have spent many summers frequenting the Jersey Shore, so I hope one day I will be able to help protect marine life through a career in veterinary medicine. In my free time I enjoy listening to music, catching up on television, getting lost in movies, and escaping into my writing (especially while at the beach).

Interning at the Sea Turtle Hospital has been nothing short of a dream come true. I have never before had the privilege to work with such incredible creatures, and it is truly amazing to look into their eyes and hear their stories – they have seen so much, and we have a lot to learn from them. [READ MORE]
Life as an Intern
The work schedule  for interns is 5 1/2 days per week,
with Wednesday afternoon and Sunday free.
A daily schedule always includes morning food and vitamin preparation, and feeding of all sea turtles in residence.
Feeding is followed by cleaning the tanks and providing care to the individual sea turtles as needed.  This might involve medical procedures, special feeding elements and  medication administration.

Five days per week the center is open to visitors, four hours in the afternoon.
During this time interns have the opportunity to introduce our visitors to the sea turtles in residence, explain the injuries and ailments, and the background and operation of the center.

Some days will also include beach survey work early in the morning, locating and identifying sea turtle tracks, and the relocation of nests when necessary.
Some nights will include searching for nesting females and nest sitting in anticipation of a nest emergence, and post hatch nest data collection.

A brief letter including:
Permanent Address
School address
Phone number
email address
Name of School
Length of Internship desired and;
Dates available.
A brief essay
State why you are seeking an internship at the 
Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center;
and what your expectations are of the experience.
Two letters of recommendation
One from  a professor or teacher,
One from a community leader (i.e. scout ,church, civic).
Mail your completed application to:
Jean Beasley, Executive Director
Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
PO Box 2095
Surf City, NC  28445