Welcome to my 10-week blog: Keying In! My name is Patricia Alquiza from McKinney, Texas and I will be a senior at the University of Notre Dame this fall, majoring in environmental sciences and Spanish with a sustainability minor. My official title for the summer is “Natural Resource Management Assistant” at Biscayne National Park in Homestead, Florida under Dr. Vanessa McDonough, Fishery and Wildlife Biologist. This summer I will be completing statistical analyses on spatial and temporal trends of reef-fish populations within the park and eventually develop the basic scripts and protocol needed for future use. 

Although most of my work will be in the office, the first day (20 May 2019) was surprisingly eventful! A kayaker’s call informing the park of a distressed pelican entangled in fishing lines about 30 feet aboveground in a mangrove tree prompted Vanessa and Shelby, fellow biologist and dive officer, (and by default, me and Katie, another intern) to scope out the situation. Vanessa was able to climb the tree and use a serrated knife on an extending telescope stick to saw off the branch that the pelican was on. Although the bird suffered a hard fall, it was eventually transported to a local rehabilitation center 🙂 I’ve now gotten a glimpse of Biscayne, started my tan and am ready for the summer!


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