I have now completed my first week and a half of the internship (I started in the middle of last week), and I’ve got to say I’m pretty hooked on this place. The Pacific Ocean, the wildlife and the people here have welcomed me with open arms.
For the month of June, I will be working on several different projects. To name a few, I will be in the field conducting intertidal zone surveying to assess biodiversity, Elephant and Harbor seal surveys, invertebrate diversity monitoring in Drake’s Estero, Eelgrass mapping, and a marine science education program. (More details on each of these projects, to come)
So far, I have participated in an array of really awesome projects. This week, I have started my training in the statistical program “R”. In July, I will be analyzing an extensive dataset on Harbor seal population variations and will be using R to do so. The park is interested in understanding the variation in their population size across six different sites over the past several decades. Please enjoy this lovely photo of our field station housing’s resident Harbor seal to get a better idea on how absolutely adorable these guys and gals are (if you’ve never seen one before). Typically, Harbor seals are very skittish, but this guy just plops himself on the dock on a daily basis and doesn’t mind us kayaking by or birds joining him for his sunbath. (Disclaimer: Marine mammals are federally protected and can be dangerous when agitated, so keep your distance!)
(Photo credit: Till Groth)
I am also on the Social Media team here at Point Reyes. For World Oceans Day, which was on June 8, I created a post to celebrate the Earth’s oceans. I had the help of a couple of my lovely housemates. The picture I took is below. You see interns Till (Lupine Restoration Intern) and Michelle (Archeology Intern) showing their love and appreciation for the world’s oceans. Their love is so strong they couldn’t help but form a heart with their bodies as soon as they stepped onto the sand. 🙂