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Sarah Crawford experience | 2023


a woman working on a laptop computer

” Hello! I’m Sarah Crawford, currently working on my masters in marine biology. During the spring of 2023 I was an intern at Mar Ilimitado working on their Orca catalogue.

Orcas are a vital part of the food chain along the coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Therefore, it is indispensable that Mar Ilimitado catalogues each orca that they encounter through photo identification. This includes distinguishing between individual markings on the right and left side of the orca that act as fingerprints. While working with Mar Ilimitado I learned how to spot details in orca eye spots, nicks, frontal cuts, and saddle markings. ID-ing and cataloging the migration of these animals gives vital information about the migration patterns, group composition, and overall ecosystem health in the Iberian Peninsula.

In addition, Mar Ilimitado helped improve my skills in data collection. Because of my experience with Mar Ilimitado I gained knowledge and professional skills I would not have gained anywhere else. I was also given incredible opportunities and independence to implement these skills with real excursions and in a professional environment.

A person on a RIB boat

Mar Ilimitado heavily contributes to the international effort to track these magnificent animals and is a vital part of the community. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I got to work with Mar Ilimtado’s team this past spring.”