Profile: Rebecca Konijnenberg AC '16

Rebecca Konijnenberg on a deck near waterHistory and biology double major
Five College Coastal and Marine Sciences certificate

As a sophomore at Amherst College, international student Rebecca Konijnenberg was looking into internship possibilities when she discovered the Five College Coastal & Marine Sciences NOAA Summer Internship Program. A conversation with program coordinator Cindy Bright led to an application, which led to a paid 10-week internship doing marine biology at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s lab in Rhode Island. Here’s her story.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at sea, so marine biology was always that cool thing I wanted to do. The certificate is great because it enables students to figure out how they want to tackle issues in marine sciences from a variety of perspectives.

If the certificate had just been marine biology, I would’ve been reluctant, though. Something I really like about it is that you can choose your own concentration. For example, it counts certain environmental policy classes, and it also allows you to take many more science-based courses. The certificate encourages you to branch out, but you can create your own focus.

I want to combine marine biology and policy, and I’ve taken some policy classes that count toward the certificate. At the same time, it’s equally possible for somebody interested in geological oceanography to complete the certificate with a focus on geology-related courses. We all share a fascination with the oceans, but we approach it from different angles. It’s great that the certificate accommodates this diversity.

The Coastal & Marine Sciences certificate is open to students from all five campuses.

Photo by James Ackley UM '14