I earned my BS in Earth Science in December 2019 and I’ve continued on the path toward professional development via networking. I plan to attend grad school within the next 5-10 years, but before I do so, I’d like to gain experience through field-related work to determine what I want to specialize in. My first hurdle so far has been finding full-time work related to environmental remediation, conservation, and/or natural resource management. Rather than becoming discouraged, however, I see this as an opportunity to branch out and expand my horizons.

I love learning and am pretty open-minded to any opportunity that comes my way. That’s where MIS comes in. My internship in 2018 opened my eyes to the variety of important tasks the NPS and other land management agencies perform to preserve and showcase public lands and resources. It’s a large undertaking that requires the symbiosis of talented people with diverse skillsets. As a previous intern, I developed my abilities in determining structures and geochronology in a karst landscape.

In addition to what I intended to learn, I was taught how to cave, how to monitor bats, White-nose Syndrome decontamination, invasive species control, educating park guests, and a whole slew of niche competencies. This exposure to new and adjacent skills is what I enjoy most about this internship. To me, the benefits of MIS are multi-fold. The first of which are the supportive mentors who offer a lifetime of wisdom and knowledge to people like me who are in the early stages of their journey. Next is the ability to practice performing quality research. Much like writing, one’s ability to do research gets better the more often he or she does it. The unique work environment of the NPS allows for important interdisciplinary research and discoveries to be made. Other benefits include qualifying for non-competitive positions in the federal government, valuable networking opportunities and overall pride in serving our nation and our people via the contributions made.

This summer, I’ll have the chance to work alongside professionals, researchers, and academics. Mammoth Cave is a large park with endless possibilities. My supervisor has assured me that there will always be a project or an activity to take part in once I complete my regular duties. I’m looking forward to a spectacular summer with the Mosaics in Science program. Here’s to round two!


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