It’s hard to fit all my experiences this summer into this last blog post. It was not only an internship at Glen Canyon; it was 12 weeks of traveling, friendships, good food, and even better times. It was a time to challenge myself, push myself out of my comfort zone, and say yes to new adventures. It was a period of extreme growth, learning, and development. Most importantly, and I can say this with certainty now that I’m leaving, it was a summer of falling in love with the southwest.

Just one of the amazing views I get to see all in a day’s work.

I met so many incredible people during my internship. They were all extremely welcoming, friendly, and easy going. I got along really well with my coworkers, which makes me excited to continue down this career path and keep working with similar people. These coworkers became my friends, my mentors, my confidants. Even people I just spoke to for five minutes at a gas station were so kind and hospitable. I made friends from Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott, and they definitely made me consider moving out here to see what else the southwest has to offer.

Me and my coworkers. It was a truly wonderful experience getting to know everyone and learning from them.

I’m glad I got to explore so much of the landscape while I was out here. Between dragonfly sampling, bat/owl/vegetation monitoring, and different trips and workshops, I really got to see a lot of Arizona and Utah. There’s no denying that the desert is a dangerous, hot, unpredictable place to love. But after acclimating to the heat and exploring different facets of the ecosystem, I’ve become a fan. There are beautiful havens hidden all over, from ephemeral waterfalls to leopard frogs to Datura flowers. The warnings of flash floods and heat exhaustion become less scary and more humbling. The desert is a vast, majestic, ever-present land. She is simply there. If we are lucky, we get to witness her beauty and explore her treasures. I will never forget this internship and all the opportunities that came along with it. Hopefully, it won’t be long before I’m back in a National Park.

Until next time, Glen Canyon… thank you for everything.

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Written by Katherine Ko
Hi there! I am a rising senior at Vanderbilt University double majoring in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology and Theatre with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. I look forward to applying both my biological and artistic skills to a career in environmental stewardship and education. I love travelling, hiking, acting, singing, and photography (just to name a few). I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures!