Hi, my name is Thomas Pham and I will be a Mosaics in Science intern this summer working as an assistant avian biologist for the South Florida Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network. I graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Biology with a focus in ecology, evolution, and conservation. After graduation, I found myself working a number of different jobs within fisheries and wildlife that have given me the opportunity to work with seabirds, hatchery salmon, and commercial fisheries in the Pacific. For the past year, I have taken a break from all the fieldwork to go back to school at the Portland Community College, where I am completing my GIS certificate.

This summer I will be working alongside the SFCN community ecologist and the avian technician on colonial nesting bird monitoring. These nesting bird colonies serve as vital indicators for ecosystem health, and the data collected from this monitoring program directly affects park management. For the duration of this internship, I will be tasked with two main goals. First, I will be processing aerial photography of unique nests to track the nesting cycle from nest building all the way up to fledging in order to determine nest success. The second task is part of a pilot program with the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, centered on examining the efficacy of using drone acquired aerial imagery to monitor the nesting birds instead of by helicopter.

When I discovered this internship, I could not have been more excited. The opportunity to draw upon my experiences with bird monitoring and to integrate what I have learned from my GIS program seemed like a perfect match.

Anxious as I am to be traveling from one corner of the country to the other, I cannot wait to get started and learn as much as possible!

Fisheries Observing Days