My coworkers and I don’t often get to meet face-to-face, but when we do we have a good time. The other day I was in the office, getting my work computer set up so I could start putting together my yellow-billed loon video. Two other interns whom I am working with were also there, for the same reason, and we all ended up sitting together while we waited. Within a few minutes, a biotech we knew serendipitously walked by, and asked if we wanted to go rewire the traps that we had used during the small mammals survey with her. So, we all headed into the cache, a cavernous space where the field gear is kept in the building, as well as the piles of unfolded traps.
We ended up spending about an hour rewiring the traps. By rewiring I’m not talking about circuit boards, but rather a metal box with hinges that we had to restring a wire through to put it back together. The wires had been taken out so that the traps could be unfolded and washed, and putting them in entailed stringing them through a series of holes at the hinges. I was glad for the interaction, and am looking forward to seeing my supervisor and the other interns again when we go birding later in the week.
When I’m at home, I’m mostly just working on my computer, making my video and a few other things that my supervisor is having me work on, but just because we’re all separated from each other doesn’t mean that we have to work alone. There are other interns, peer mentors and of course my supervisor whom I can call anytime. Learning to navigate this new working environment has been both interesting and educational, and I have enjoyed working with these people.
Most of my favorite things to do with the National Parks Service include activities like long hikes in the wilderness, holding a lynx kitten, or getting a sunburn north of the arctic circle. Because of the pandemic, this internship may not have those things in great abundance, what it does have is a lot of amazing and supportive people whom I am glad to work with.