Blue Parks Intern
Rayyan Maker is an aspiring conservationist and environmental/climate justice advocate hailing from the coast of Pakistan. From a young age, he realized his deep attachment to the environment, especially the ocean, having grown up spearfishing and surfing along the shores of the Arabian Sea. Immersed in a world in which the ocean is the provider, the sustainer, the realm of personal discovery and spirituality, and the interwoven fabric that binds people and communities together, the ocean is a place that gives him a deep sense of belonging. To Rayyan, the ocean not only encompasses the water, rocks, and marine life, but the people whose lives are so inextricably linked to this natural world. Having had the privilege and good fortune to share experiences of what it means to live on and off this part of the natural world has made him acutely aware of how invaluable it is to defining our lives.
Rayyan has committed to the pursuits of protecting marine ecosystems and promoting the symbiotic relationship they share with coastal communities and the human world more broadly. He recently earned his B.A. in Environmental Studies with a double minor in Biology and Peace & Conflict Studies from Swarthmore College. During his third year as an undergraduate student, he studied abroad in Costa Rica and Panama as part of Pitzer College’s study-abroad program. During this time, he conducted coral reef health assessments in Bocas Del Toro, Panama as part of a marine restoration ecology course. During his fourth year of college, he conducted a stream health assessment of the Crum Creek in Swarthmore, PA, using stream macro-invertebrate community structures as biomarkers of stream health.
At Swarthmore College, Rayyan worked for three years as a Green Advisor in the Office of Sustainability, a group of students who promote sustainable practices on campus. During his second and third year as an undergraduate student, Rayyan also interned at World Wildlife Fund – Pakistan, conducting research in the organizations’ Marine Program on bycatch in fisheries, as well as coral cataloguing and degradation measurement via photographic data. He has worked on multiple sustainable development projects along the coast, forging relationships with community stakeholders and building community partnerships. Rayyan is a licensed PADI SCUBA Open Water Diver and SSI Level 1 Freediver.