Raquel Bensadoun

Raquel Bensadoun

What is your previous work experience?
I've worked in animal rehabilitation and animal care at Projeto Tamar in Brazil, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Florida, and Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida. My time at Projeto Tamar allowed me to be involved in social inclusion projects and all of my experiences have included a component of environmental education. I have also interned as a policy intern for sea turtle conservancy, working on sea level rise and coastal armoring issues and participating in a predation workshop.

Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
I was drawn to the Nicholas School because of Duke Marine Lab and the world class teaching staff. Many of the professors that I look forward to working with at Marine Lab are professors whose publications I've used as citations in previous research experience and I look forward to getting to see their research and learn from them first hand.

Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
I am interested in geospatial analysis and climate change topics and how these subjects intersect. I will focus on natural phenomena and how they are predicted to change in the future (such as frequency/intensity of hurricanes) and am looking forward to learning GIS skills that will allow me to see what areas will be most affect by these phenomena in the short and long term.

What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?
I am most looking forward to the professional networking while learning new skills. I am very interested in GIS and mapping and the potential uses it has for modeling of future phenomena. The Nicholas School opens many doors for students and provides a staff that is always available to tend to students needs and questions.

What future plans do you have for your career after the Nicholas School?
I hope to work for an agency that is actively working to supply the government with data to effect change in the way that coastal planning is done. I would like to either work directly for a government agency, working towards management, or for an NGO that works closely with government agencies.

Personal thanks:
I would like to thank you for your very generous donation. I was thrilled and very appreciative to learn that I was selected as the recipient of your scholarship. I am concentrating in Coastal Environmental Management and this program will greatly help me take a leap forward in my career, giving me valuable skills and professional development opportunities that will allow me to achieve my ultimate career goal of working for an agency responsible for coastal management and planning and analyzing how climate change will affect the coasts. Thanks to you, I am one step closer to my goal.

By awarding me the Nicholas Scholarship, you have lightened my financial burden which allows me to focus on the most important aspects of this program, professional development and learning new skills. Your generosity has inspired me to help others and I hope that one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals for the betterment of the world as you have helped me."

Career Interests

Coastal Conservation, Coastal Planning, Sea Level Rise Research and Mitigation, Climate Change Effects and Mitigation, Geospatial Analysis
Employment Sought:


Master of Environmental Management, May 2019
Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University, Durham, NC
Concentration: Coastal Environmental Management
Bachelor of Science, May 2015
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Major(s): Interdisciplinary Studies – Concentration Marine Sciences

Professional Experience

Policy Intern, POLICY AND DATA ACQUISITION, Sea Turtle Conservancy, Gainesville, FL
Facilitated workshops and meetings and provided documentation of conferences and panel discussion under the supervision of Gary Appelson, Policy Coordinator. Conducted research and contacted state officials in regards to policy matters while contributing to the official report for the Sea Turtles and Shorebirds Predation Management Workshop. January – April 2016
Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge, UF Island Biology at Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory, Seahorse Key, FL
Conducted individual project on previously unknown demographics of Diamondback Terrapins in the CKNWR and their population size to discern whether there is a small enough population that would warrant protected status. Gained proficiency in field methods on a primitive island under the supervision of Dr. Coleman Sheehy, III. July 2015
UF Marine Ecology in French Polynesia, Mo’orea, French Polynesia
Conducted studies on the association between Acanthophora spicifera and Stegastes nigricans in order to gain understanding of important reef ecology under the supervision of Dr. Michael Gil. June 2014
Intern, Greenpeace, Washington, D.C.
Assisted in research and organizing scientific information for the Toxics and Nuclear Campaigns. Responsible for data acquisition from the Environmental Protection Agency for the Toxics Campaign. July – August 2013
Laboratory Assistant, University of Florida Geology Department, Gainesville, FL
Acquired data and maintained laboratory as projects arose under Dr. Andy Zimmerman. Mainly worked on projects concerning the resilience of Louisiana salt marshes following the BP oil spill and biochar. January 2013 – April 2014
Animal Rehabilitation Intern, ANIMAL CARE AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Sarasota, FL
Performed daily husbandry of all animals in the Sea Turtle Hospital and Dolphin and Whale Hospital. Assisted in veterinary procedures, maintained water quality, and ensured protocols were met to USDA and AZA standards. February – May 2017
Marine Mammal Training Intern, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Clearwater, FL
Supported daily husbandry of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, North American river otters, great white African pelicans, and nurse sharks while keeping fish preparation kitchen and facility to USDA standards.  Assisted in advanced veterinary procedures (ex. X-rays, endoscopy, etc.) while gaining proficiency in executing both passive and active restraints. Gained hands-on experience on the fundamentals of training and animal behavior. Hosted programs and presented scripted and non-scripted presentations to the public on North American river otters, nurse sharks, and sea turtles to provide visitors with environmental education and increase awareness of the importance of conserving these animals and their habitats. August 2016 – January 2017
Intern, Projeto Tamar, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil
Led educational tours on sea turtles and threats to marine life and contributed to public education and social inclusion outside of the visitor center while caring for permanent residents of the visitor center. Responsible for daily husbandry of injured sea turtles in rehabilitation center, including facilitation of surgeries on turtles with fibropapillomatosis and conducting necropsies. Gained hands-on training on how to perform biometric data collection on incidental catch sea turtles. April – June 2015

Additional Information

Languages: Fluent Portuguese & English, Intermediate Level French & Spanish Certifications: NAUI Openwater SCUBA (2015) Computer: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Fundamentals of Geospatial Analysis


climate change
coastal zone management
program management

Graduation Date

May 2019

Additional Resources



Preferred Location


Preferred Sector

Academic Institution
Federal Government
Non-profit / NGO
Research Institute / Think Tank
State / Local Government