Kyle Kansman ’17



Farmington, MI



Type of Alma Venture experience:


Summary of your experience:

I was accepted into the Animal Rehabilitation Internship at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL.

What did you learn as a result of this experience?

My main responsibilities were to help with the care and training of the animal patients in both the sea turtle and dolphin/whale hospitals. I helped with food preparation for daily feeds as well as feeding the animals, checking the water quality in their tanks, monitoring their activity as needed, cleaning and maintaining their tanks and assisting with any procedures (veterinary, feeding, etc.) that they needed. I also documented their behavior, created devices of environmental enrichment and interacted with the public.

How has your Alma Venture solidified or altered your career goals?

This was definitely a valuable experience for me because not only did I learn a lot about animal rehab, sea turtles, and what it would be like as a wildlife vet, but I also gained a love for sea turtles; the experience reassured my passion for animal rehab. You have to be 100% committed to wildlife if you want to go into this field. I’ve always known that I love animals and that I want to do whatever I can to help them, but now that I’ve had this experience, I know this is where I belong.

This experience gave me a new dream and now, I hope to one day open up my own rehab facility and make a huge impact in the world. I hope to not only save animals’ lives by helping them heal and return to the wild, but also by showing the world that they deserve to be here as much as we do and need our respect and love.

What was the most rewarding experience during your Alma Venture?

My favorite part, other than just being able to interact with the sea turtles every day, was definitely the release trips; it made me really happy to return the sea turtles back to the wild after I had helped them get there and been a part of their lives. It’s a feeling I will always have with me.

What advice would you give a student considering this type of Alma Venture?

This experience is easily one of the best parts of my life thus far. I fell in love with sea turtles, I gained knowledge in animal rehab, anatomy, behavior, and care, and I learned how to live independently. I think every college student should experience something as breath-taking and individualistic as I have.

I didn’t know it was possible, but my love for animals has definitely grown. Every day that I woke up for work, I thought to myself, “Wow, how fortunate am I?!” - And it’s true! How many people can actually say that they love what they do and can’t wait to see what the day holds for them?