So first I’d like to begin by introducing myself. My name is Griselda and I am a returning intern. Last summer I was fortunate enough to receive an internship position at Denali National Park & Preserve and I can say without hesitation that it has by far been one of the most rewarding and beautiful experiences of my life. I completely fell in love with Alaska’s natural and wild beauty. Alaska was a country in which I knew I could go backpacking for days without encountering any human disturbances, and that was something I had never experienced before, despite growing up in Colorado whose Rock Mountains many consider able of providing that type of isolation from our developed world. So it was because of these amazing experiences which I gained by doing data collection and field work in nature that I was compelled to apply to the Mosaics in Science Internship program again.
This summer I will be on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of location. The next ten weeks will be spent working for the National Park Service South Florida & Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network. I am looking forward to all the great experiences and skills I will gain this summer! Getting the opportunity to do a little exploring of Everglades National Park, which is where I will be staying this summer has made me all that more excited for my summer here.
How all this came to be :
So a bit about myself: I am 22-year-old Mexican-American woman studying Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado with a minor in Ethnic Studies. I was born and raised in Aurora, Colorado and although I grew up in an urban setting my connection to the natural world was still a strong one. As a young child I craved being outdoors and would seek any opportunity I could to be outdoors, whether it was simply going to the backyard to help my parents with the garden or going to natural areas for day-long family picnics where I wandered through the trees with my sisters and cousins until dusk, pretending there was nothing more to life than the pure bliss I felt at those moments when I was surrounded by the people I loved with my feet and hands covered in dirt, my hair tousled by the wind and my soul singing with joy.
It is, in part, because of those moments that I cherish so much that I first began to develop a love for nature and the land; a love that would develop into a passion for the conservation of all things wild, from something as small as lichen to something as large as a grizzly bear.
I grew up in Aurora, Colorado but both my parents come from a rural community in Mexico so they began to install a love for all things natural and wild inside of me since I was a little toddler. I recall how much I would enjoy listening to my parents’ stories about their experiences growing up in rural south-central Mexico. Another reason I came to value nature so much was because of the sacrifice I would see my parents make to take us outdoors. Although they were often working, from sunrise to sunset six days a week and didn’t have the time or means to take my siblings and I out to natural areas on a frequent basis they still made an effort to take us out to the mountains or grasslands at least once every two months. Seeing the sacrifice my parents would make to take us outdoors made me cherish those days we got to spent outside together as a family all the more.
As I grew older my passion for nature and helping preserve its beauty grew, as did my passion for other things such as literature, history, art and all activism that aimed to protect the environment and that addressed social justice issues (specifically in regards to indigenous communities). That is how I came to be at CSU studying both Biology and Ethnic Studies, and it was through my job in the Listening Lab with the National Park Service, which I first heard about from one of my Wildlife professors, that I then heard about the Mosaics in Science Internship program.
STEAM, it is the first time I have heard this term with an A. The full acronym stands for Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and art. How do you incorporate art with the rest of the terms? I couldn’t see a connection, until I joined the STEAM team. Our focus has been to asses the status of current citizen science and science literacy programs, evaluate possible new programs and report on useful tools that may help us improve both types of programs. In order to gather this data, we have interviewing stakeholders, such as educators, scientist, citizen science specialist, and youth and outreach coordinators. This week we interviewed a woman that works for the encyclopedia of life. She showed us a lot of very helpful tool that allows anyone to create species deck cards. These cards have a picture and some basic information of the specie. Immediately, I could see how Summer Connections could benefit from this tool. The students’ final project consists of creating a report on one organism. Then all of the organisms get put together to create a book. Instead of this book we could use the deck of cards as their final project. I am excited to see what other tools can help us improve the park programs.
Hello everyone! My name is Sidney Woodruff, and I just started my internship with Greening Youth Foundation and the National Park Service this summer through the Mosaics in Science Diversity Internship Program. I’ll be completing my program in herpetological conservation at Yosemite National Park in California. I never thought I would be able to one day actually say those words!
I’m currently a senior at the University of Georgia pursuing a dual degree program in Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. I will be graduating in December 2017, so this is a nice way to finish off my degree! I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors and working in the conservation field. This internship will allow me to work alongside NPS biologists and biological science technicians to restore high elevation lakes for the endangered Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged frog, control invasive Bullfrog populations, and track and monitor Western Pond turtle sites.
With the first week already done, including a four-day tour in frontcountry Yosemite tracking and surveying turtles, I’m more than excited to see what else this summer has to offer!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to enter a cave by sinking up to your chest in a pool of quicksand-like packrat poop?
If not, I’m here to tell you that it is a slightly alarming but mostly hilarious experience, and feels very much like your legs and torso are being gently squeezed by a blood pressure cuff. It is also a prime example of the amazing, unexpected opportunities I’m just starting to discover in my first two weeks as the Astronomy Intern at Great Basin National Park. My name is Brenna Rodriguez, and I love my job!
When I left my home in North Carolina and struck out alone on a 2,293 mile drive to Great Basin National Park, I was terrified of the uncertainties that reared up before me. Could I handle five days of forced solitude? Would I get harassed by a creepy stranger in the middle of nowhere? Would my car break down in the desert, miles from cell phone reception or services?
Fortunately, my fears proved to be unfounded, and the drive was fairly tame. Since arriving in Nevada, park staff and local residents have been incredibly welcoming, and I’ve been able to watch the town of Baker and the park itself come alive with wildflowers and tourists as the high-visitation season begins. Many of my first days in the park were spent shadowing interpretive cave and astronomy programs, hiking in slightly snowy weather, looking for fossils, and getting to know the folks who make a living in this slightly lonesome town.
Great Basin National Park is designated as an International Dark Sky Park, and has a huge variety of natural points of interest, including a network of wild caves and a developed cavern. Since I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geology, and am particularly interested in speleology and astrobiology, I am very excited to have access to the park’s natural resources. Through the summer, I hope to develop meaningful interpretive cave and astronomy programs, and look forward to cross-training with other divisions to gain a more in-depth understanding of the park.
I’m thrilled to be living and working in Great Basin National Park, and I look forward to sharing my discoveries with you!
Hi my name is Malik Robinson and I am from a place called Waldorf located in Southern Maryland. I am currently a rising junior at the amazing and illustrious North Carolina A&T State University. While attending this college I am studying Sustainable Land Management. For those who do not know what that major is about, it is the science of soils and vegetation and learning ways to improve soil quality and plant growth in a safe way. Both of these places Waldorf and Greensboro (where A&T is located) are very city like and without much nature to view. When coming to Montana for this internship I really didn’t know what to expect, this was my first time ever flying, so that’s really what I was concentrated on. However when arriving to the airport in Montana all worries were out the window as soon as the plane became lower than the clouds all I saw was this great beauty that I have never seen before!
Its like a completely new world I have never seen such beauty and such enormous mountains so up close before. Therefore I love it here its amazing !!! It has only been a week since we arrived here and I already feel at home. For those who do not know I am currently completing this internship for the monitoring and inventory of Yellowstone Park. I am currently staying on campus at Montana State University in the town of Bozeman. In Bozeman there are so many nice people so it became easy to get settled in and also every where you go or any direction you look, you will see a mountain in the background its simply amazing! Since we have arrived I have learned so much from types of plants, names of mountains, reading maps, learning GPS systems, safety in the parks and forest`s and have seen animals from big Bison and Elk, to little field mice. So far my favorite part has been traveling to Hyalite Canyon which was just beautiful and loaded with amazing scenery. There we climbed and got to about 6,256 Ft!!!
So far its been an amazing week and I can tell this is going to be an amazing internship experience to never be forgotten!!! I can`t wait for next week!
Greetings everyone, my name is Marquise White and I am from Waldorf Maryland. I am currently a Senior at Frostburg State University where I am pursuing a degree in Wildlife & Fisheries, and minoring in Biology and French. As a child, I was always outside exploring my surroundings, and appreciating the outdoors. My adventures outdoors along with watching channels such as Animal Planet, National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel sparked my interest in wildlife and natural resources.
I am currently interning at the Greater Yellowstone Inventory and Monitoring Network where I will be taking part in several research projects such as Pika and vegetation monitoring, and water quality sampling to name a few. I am staying at Montana State University in Bozeman Montana. It is absolutely breathtaking here in Bozeman. There are vast amounts of wildlife and mountains. The first week mainly consisted of in-office training to prepare us for the things I will be doing throughout my internship. In my short time here, I have already been on several hikes in the surroundings areas, and it is very beautiful. I find myself constantly amazed at how beautiful the landscape is. I am very excited to see what this summer has in-store for me. I am very fortunate to have received this internship and I am looking forward to new experiences and meeting new people. I fully intend on using this internship to learn new things as well as network with the people I meet to hopefully gain insight on potential career paths for me.
My name is Elizabeth. I was born and raised in southern California. I studied Conservation Resource Studies with a minor in Forestry in northern California and just graduated! I love being outdoors hiking, swimming, or even just sitting under the shade of a tree. This summer, I will be interning at Valley Forge National Park in Pennsylvania. It is my first time on the east coast and so far, I have had a great time! I have already had many insightful conversations with several staff members in the park. I got to learn and take part in managing an invasive crayfish population in the creek that runs along the park. I had a great time feeling the fresh water running past my feet while looking for and collecting rusty crayfish. It has only been a week and I have already learned a lot.
I am definitely interested in working towards conservation but I have yet to find out what specific field I want to dive into. This week, I communicated my long list of interests within conservation to my supervisor and thankfully, I will have the opportunity to explore many of these interests throughout the summer. Through this experience, I am hoping to find which specific aspect of conservation I would like to pursue as a career.
I am really excited for what is to come this summer!
Laura Palma reporting for duty! Destination: US Virgin Island St. Croix
I hail from the distant land of Miami Florida, born and raised. It’s also where I attained a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from Florida International University. As a recent graduate, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired as a scientific diver. That is what drew me to this particular internship. But diving alone was not enough to hook me line and sinker; the opportunity to explore and study a new ecosystem and organism, seagrass beds and green sea turtles, is what sealed the deal. I have never worked with sea turtles or conducted intensive research with seagrasses, something I won’t be able to say by the end of this internship.
While I’m here I intend to take full advantage of the opportunity MOSAICS has given me not only from the research perspective but also from the National Park Service (NPS) aspect. I’m curious to experience what it will be like working for NPS and whether it will be a good fit for me. As most of my experience has been with academic institutions, this internship will allow me to expand my career experience with other agencies. I’ve only been here six days and already I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with some great scientists including several from NOAA. I hope this experience will help me determine if graduate school will be my next feat.
I’d like to give a big thank you to my project mentor, Alexandra Gulick (Graduate Student, Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, University of Florida) and my NPS supervisors, Clayton Pollock (Biologist) and Zandy Hillis-Starr (Chief of Resource Management) for offering me this opportunity.
My name is Dominique Ong (Dom for short) and I can officially check seeing a bald eagle off my bucket list! Together with another more experienced and extremely patient intern, I helped conduct a survey to observe the presence and behavior of eagles. We hiked up a butte, or steep hill, to reach an unobstructed view of the eagle’s nest. This eagle survey is part of my work with the National Resources team at Lava Beds National Monument. The park is located in Tulelake, California, which is about 5-6 hours from Portland or San Francisco.
While at Lava Beds, I’m excited to check more and more things off my bucket list. My bucket list is constantly growing because the high desert environment is a place that is especially unfamiliar to me. I am originally from the island of Guam so immense deserts and snowy mountains are not exactly sights I’m used to seeing everyday. Even at the University of Virginia, where I study environmental science and global studies, I don’t see the unique wildlife and formations here at Lava Beds! It’s definitely an adventure out here and I can’t wait to explore my first cave and meet some bats.
Hello blog reader,
Here is Fabiane Barato the intern of last year of Mosaic in Sciences (MIS) for the Gulf Coast Network Inventory and Monitoring Program (GULN), Gulf Island National Seashore project. On that project I had the pleasure of bringing to life more than 1500 35mm photo slides. Those slides were scanned and archived as historical records of the conditions of the barrier islands of Mississippi and Florida during 1980’s.
This summer I’m back at the GULN, for another MIS internship. However, this time I will be tracking Texas tortoises (Gopherus berlandieri) at Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, which is located in Brownsville, Texas.
If you did not read my blog last year let me introduce myself. My name is Fabiane Barato, but I usually go by Fabi (Fah-bee). I am originally from Brazil. I’ve been living in Lafayette, LA for seven years and a half. In Brazil, I graduated with an associated degree as an environmental technician, and I was on my third year of a bachelor in science (B.S.) in agronomy when I decide to move to the USA. Here I went to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where I graduate with a B.S. in environmental sciences with a concentration in water and soils and double minor in biology and geology. During my undergrad I also got a certification on geographic information system (GIS), which will be very useful for me in this project. I’m currently doing my master in geology, analyzing the past forty years of water level data for the Chicot Aquifer, and I’m looking to graduate on the fall 2017.
Now you know a little bit about me. I’m excited to be back at the GULN office. I had a great experience last year and I’m sure this summer will be even better because I will be on the field at least once a month “chasing” tortoises. I know it will not be easy, we are talking about hot summer, ticks, cactus, rattle snakes, tortoises poop, and did I mention hot summer?!? But no matter what, I know I will love it. So see you next week for an update on my first field trip.