My Summer at Monocacy National Battlefield

My Summer at Monocacy National Battlefield

Greetings from Frederick, Maryland!

This summer exceeded all my expectations and I am going to walk away from this internship feeling deeply accomplished. I was pushed out of my comfort zone when I decided to move across the United States and was knee high in new waters troubleshooting field techniques to collect stream data. Overall, I have met some really wonderful people and I am inspired to continue hydrologic studies throughout my career as a scientist. Science can help us evaluate the condition of our waterways and make informed decisions for how to protect them from further degradation or restore their geomorphic processes.

The park’s goal was to have two hydrology interns classify two stream reaches using the Rosgen Stream Classification method. One stream reach was established in 2010 and an additional site was going to be established by us this summer. Olivia Boraiko and I combed through years of old data, figured out what measurements needed to be taken, and enthusiastically went out into the field on hot humid days in waders to collect data. We also worked together to and decide on where the second upstream site should be located and how the methodology should be applied to be replicable for future interns based on unexpected issues encountered when surveying the 2010 stream reach. We had to be flexible and work as a team to make field methodology decisions and to evaluate the data because each of us had different strengths we could bring to the project.

Overall, we provided the park with data and a report that could inform their goal of improving or maintaining their waterways in as natural a state as possible to support hydrogeomorphic processes. One of my favorite parts of this summer was working with Olivia and becoming a two-person team.

A bonus of this internship was all the additional training and shadowing all the interns were able to take part in. I was able to sit- in on park planning meetings, go out with a NPS fire-effects monitoring and USGS pollinator crew, and take part in fire training that will lead to a Firefighter Type 2 certification. I did not think I would pass the strenuous pack test on the first try, and I did! I am excited to one day go out on a fire, especially as someone who is from California, and hopefully be a resource advisor either as a hydrologist or ecologist further in my career.

Thank you Environment for the Americas, Mosaics in Science, National Park Service and all my team members for a wonderful summer. I truly appreciate all the work that was put into this internship and this experience does truly help me reach my goal of making the world a better place through science.

Wishing everyone a big thank you and all the best,
Jenna Aubrie Heckel

1 Comment
  • Andrew Banasik
    Posted at 13:39h, 02 August

    Aubrie, we’re so happy to have you here at the battlefield and I’ve had a smile on my face reading these posts. Your ability to adapt and be flexible, be a self-starter, make decisions in the field, and be an amazing part of a team will suit you well as you go forward in life. What I’ve more thoroughly enjoyed, though, is reading and seeing all the new things that you’ve learned and life experiences that you’ve gained by being here – not just the project stuff. These challenges and experiences are what make us great, well-rounded humans, in the end. I can’t wait to see the report you’ve produced, but also can’t wait to see and hear (hopefully you stay in touch) where you go!!! Best of luck!!