Alumni Focus: Amanda Krok
When Amanda Krok ’15 was growing up in Pottstown, her mother called her the mermaid because of her love for the water. At Shippensburg, Krok developed that childhood passion into a career. Her experiences in the geoenvironmental studies program and interactions with faculty led her to a dream job as a marine turtle specialist in Broward County, Florida.
“When I was in (high) school I didn’t know what I wanted to go (to college) for, and when I took an oceanography class at Ship that put the ding in my head that that was what I wanted to do,” she said.
That decision was reinforced when she participated in the university’s Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium Program. The unique partnership with the Chincoteague Bay Field Station allows students to learn, research, and volunteer in locations such as the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the Assateague National Seashore, and NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility in Accomack County, Virginia.
Throughout her time at Ship, she said the faculty provided her with the guidance needed to reach her personal and academic goals. “The whole faculty and Geography/Earth Science Department knew exactly what they were talking about. Ship has so many good things. They are not the kind of teachers who know your name only because you’re in their class, but they genuinely want to know you and see what your passion is.”
Last summer, Krok had the opportunity to intern with the Volusia County, Florida, sea turtle rehabilitation center in New Smyrna Beach. The guidance and support she received at Ship propelled her excel in that post, leading to her first job in the field. Once a childhood dream, she is now prepared to work with marine animals as a career.
This month, Krok starts her new role as part of her work with Nova Southeastern University, which operates the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program in partnership with county government. The program provides for conservation of endangered and threatened sea turtle species within Broward County.
She will work with a team of about four to five other specialists and volunteers who will walk along the Fort Lauderdale beaches looking for signs of turtle nesting and hatching. Her work will help provide valuable information on these endangered species.
Krok plans to apply to NSU’s master’s degree program to earn her degree in either physical or biological oceanography.
She said she is proud of her experience at Ship and tells college-bound students it is “an experience you’ll not have at any other schools.” The size of the university is just right, allowing the campus community to get to know each other, she said. “The education system is great and they put everything they can into the programs. The faculty are super dedicated, and you get your money’s worth out of going there.”
Looking ahead, Krok said she would like to earn a doctoral degree, do research in various marine-based areas, and ultimately work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, anywhere, she said, “with a beach.”