Fostering Knowledge and Skills to Succeed in Marine Conservation and Industry

Nina Quaratella, NAMEPA's Education and Outreach Manager, speaks to students at Westerly High School's Career Fair

Nina Quaratella, NAMEPA's Education and Outreach Manager, speaks to students at Westerly High School's Career Fair

NAMEPA is teaming up with local high schools to spread knowledge and share opportunities with students interested in careers in the maritime industry and environmental conservation. NAMEPA’s mission is unique as it bridges the gap between commerce and preservation, making NAMEPA a quintessential example of the dynamic positions available in the field of marine science and maritime industries.

Nina, NAMEPA’s Education and Outreach Manager, spoke with students at Westerly High School (WHS) in Westerly, Rhode Island about the importance of professionalism, communication, and time management in the field of natural resources. This event was targeted at juniors and seniors with an interest in environmental conservation, part of a monthly career fair event that brings professionals from various occupations into the classroom to engage with students. Nina participated in a panel discussion with other environmental organizations which was led by WHS guidance counselor, Lisa Fusaro, and President of the Westerly Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Konicki. Nina was then able to speak one-on-one with students about how to get involved with NAMEPA’s work through internships, volunteer opportunities, and the NAMEPA Chapter Program. “It was especially impactful for students to learn about the importance of internships and service learning as a way to gain work experience and build positive relationships with potential employers,” remarked Lisa Fusaro.  Westerly High School’s career fair program hit Nina close to home as she is a 2011 graduate of the school. 

Lyn, NAMEPA’s Chief Operating Officer, also represented NAMEPA this month during Fairfield Ludlowe High School’s first-ever Career Day in Fairfield, Connecticut. She spoke to around 40 students in grades 9-12, where she was accompanied by 70 other speakers from a broad scope of organizations. Speakers were asked to talk about their experience in the workforce and how they got to where they are today. Lyn focused on the transition from high school to college, noting that there are many paths to take to find your passion and ways to put that to action in your work. Lyn’s key points were to ask questions, take an interest in what other people do, and to get involved.

Lyn’s extensive background is related to industry and non-profit management. Meanwhile, Nina has a background in marine sciences and environmental education.  Even though Lyn and Nina have different interests and experiences, the diversity of the marine science field enables them to work towards a common goal and provide a breadth of knowledge to students at the career fairs.

The maritime industry has grown as the demand for manufactured goods skyrockets in today’s changing society. Likewise, the importance of conservation has grown as marine debris pollutes environments, sea levels rise, and harmful greenhouse gasses are emitted into the air. The escalating need for a balance between commerce and conservation is why it is crucial to foster the skills and knowledge to succeed in the maritime and environmental preservation fields in future generations. NAMEPA is excited to help students achieve their goal of dedicating their careers to the marine environment and the maritime industry.

For more information about NAMEPA's Education Programs, contact Nina at n.quaratella@namepa.net.