Hi! My name is Kamryn Dehn and I’m currently a senior at Purdue in Interdisciplinary Agriculture: Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences with a minor in anthropology. I’m from Frankfort, Indiana, but I will be moving to Miami, Florida in August for my master’s degree after I graduate this summer. One fun fact about me is that I'm actually a trained singer, but I have terrible stage fright (my legs shake a lot) so you'll likely never hear me! I will be the youth education intern this summer working behind the scenes via social media. I will be editing photos, blogs, and videos, and work on curriculum development as well as general extension and education.
Most of my field experience comes from study abroad and travel. In May of 2018, I completed a study abroad to Belize where I conducted coral reef monitoring and population counts on reef species to measure overall reef health.
I also attended the Purdue marine biology practicum in Florida in August 2018 where I refined sampling skills and gained experience with these skills in coastal habitats. In terms of research experience, I have been a member of a chimpanzee behavior research lab in the Department of Anthropology for over a year now. We have been conducting a literature review on chimpanzee behavior research to determine if there is a bias to study male behavior, specifically sociality. The results of this study are super important because they have implications for how we construct and understand the evolution of human behavior and sociality. This past semester, I also had the opportunity to partake in an independent study course where I conducted my own literature review regarding colonial legacies and indigenous inclusion in marine protected areas and marine conservation strategies. One of the biggest findings from this independent study originated from another published literature review that found that less than 0.5% of published literature regarding MPAs mentioned indigenous involvement. I also have some previous teaching and outreach experience. For three summers in high school, I participated in the Zoo Teen program at the Columbian Park Zoo and helped with animal husbandry and educational presentations like artifact chats and animal encounters.
I’m not too sure what my future career will be but I’m currently interested in marine mammal cognition and sociality, primatology, extension education, and more generally speaking, how we can re-think conservation strategies to better include local and indigenous communities and ensure long-term success and collaboration. I decided to participate in this internship program because I feel that extension and education are significant if we are to secure healthy, long-term environmental stewardship, something that requires increased science literacy of the general public. Through this program, I'm hoping to develop skills related to video editing, curriculum development and analysis, informal teaching, and how to better incorporate indigenous knowledges and awareness of colonial legacies into environmental science teaching!