EAST LANSING — Hannah Scott, 21, of Laingsburg, recently traveled to Thailand to volunteer in marine conservation on the island of Koh Tao and explore the wilderness of Northern Thailand, including participating in a forest restoration project through the Chiang Mai University.

According to Michigan State University, Scott and her team traveled to Koh Tao to study with the New Heaven Marine Conservation project.

In her time on Koh Tao, she volunteered helping to track marine life through surveys done SCUBA diving. She also helped to support the rebuilding of coral reefs off the coast of Thailand by helping to build artificial reef structures.

“Our group was given the opportunity to partake in an ecological monitoring program in Koh Tao. Even if we were just certified open water divers, we had the chance to help out advanced divers. Not many people are given that chance, and the fact that we could learn, observe and help make a difference really meant a lot to me,” Scott said.

Hannah is a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in zoology and animal science. While abroad, she studied and learned about the marine life on and around Koh Tao and the projects being undertaken to attempt to observe and conserve them, MSU said in a press release.

“With plastic consumption and marine pollution in the news daily, projects such as New Heaven and Loop Abroad’s marine conservation projects aim to help educate students like Scott while allowing them to be part of making a difference in protecting biodiversity in the world’s oceans,” the press release notes. “From cleaning beach trash to tracking ocean animal populations, this work focuses on empowering local organizations to make a daily impact and help increase education about the importance of marine biodiversity and the health of our oceans and sea life.”

In addition to her time on the island, Scott explored other ecosystems of Thailand, including the cloud forest in the North, cave systems, rainforests and jungles. She and her team assisted in a forest restoration project being undertaken by FORRU via Chiang Mai University, which is attempting to rebuild and sustain forests in the mountains around the city of Chiang Mai.

Admission to the Loop Abroad program is selective. Scott was chosen based on her transcript, admissions essay, and professional references.

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