Over the past couple of weeks I’ve gotten the opportunity to share the skills I’ve be gaining, with my supervisor and a couple other scientists. Raven Pro, Kaleidoscope, SongMeter are all very different softwares that are unfamiliar to researchers in Everglades, and the South Florida and Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network. It is quite rewarding to know that I am helping pave a new path in how data can be collected and analyzed. Acoustic ecology is still a relatively new field and I’m glad that the skills on gained during my internship in Alaska, last summer, are allowing me to make an impact at here at the SFCN.
After 3.5 weeks spent doing in-office research, which has consisted of a lot of statistics, softwares, ARDs, SOPs, and reading through lots of User Manuals I finally got the opportunity to do a couple hours of field work this past week! I got to deploy an SM3 Automated Recording Devices in a couple different spots near some sloughs in Everglades National Park. It was nice getting to go out! Just a bit of advice though; it you ever feel inclined to go exploring the Everglades in the middle of June beware of the most vicious residents of the Everglades. Mosquitoes!
This week has consisted of a lot of in-office research and learning how to program custom recording schedule using various different configuration software. I can then import the programs I’ve created onto the Automated Recording Device (ARD) that we will be deploying throughout Everglades National Park in hopes of collecting acoustic data to monitor amphibians. We will be using several different ARDs to carry out our acoustic monitoring project which requires me to learn how to use several configuration software since each ARD has different programming compatibility and there is no single software that works for them all. I was also working on Kaleidoscope and Raven Pro to analyze some spectrograms.
Also here are some more pictures from my exploration of the national park on my own time. Enjoy!
My first two weeks have consisted mostly of office work. I have done trainings on how to navigate through computer servers and such, but for the most part I’ve been reading through a lot of software, hardware and programming instruction manuals. I’ve also had to read through a lot of government documentation which has allowed me to gain a better understanding on how to put together my own protocol for monitoring vocal anuran/amphibian communities in the South Florida and Caribbean parks. A lot of my research has been conducted by reading through the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documentation that the Southeast Coast Inventory and Monitoring Network has published.
Over these past two weeks I’ve really discovered the importance of being able to be self-driven, as well as, being able to do a lot of self-teaching, since my supervisor has been gone since last Friday on a week long trip conducting field work out on the Virgin Islands. Although I haven’t gotten the opportunity to do any field work as of yet and my work hasn’t been the most exciting, I certainly feel as though I’ve gained a lot of valuable knowledge in the past two weeks. It also helps that I do have a lot of experience doing research independently from my past internship in Alaska, although it differs in that the majority of my research last year was conducted while I was out on the field on backpacking trips, day-long hiking trips, or overnight canoeing trips.
However since I do live in Everglades National Park, on my own time, I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of exploring of the park’s natural beauty. On my bike rides, hikes and canoeing trips, during the past two weekends I’ve gotten to see some amazing wildlife and experience some amazingly scenic views!
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.