Summery Summary

Summery Summary

Well my internship is coming to an end in the next couple days, and simply put: I have loved every minute of it. Except for the mosquitos. And flies. Bugs aside though, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work at Pictured Rocks this summer. From day 1 I felt a great sense of community from everyone at the park – even those beyond the science staff I work with every day. I think that’s one of the main advantages of working at a small park: you have the chance to meet pretty much everyone if you want to, and the strength of relationships is unmatched in my opinion. I’ll admit I had big plans to ship off to one of the big parks out west, but I could not have asked for a better first experience with the park service. I’ve talked about most of my experiences in my previous blog posts, but here are some of my favorite parts:

  • Meeting all the park staff at the beginning of the season – including an old high school friend of mine!
  • Tour of Pictured Rocks on the ranger boat – need I say more?
  • Working at Lowney Creek every week – the hike is beautiful and quiet, but I did get to have some fun conversations with some of the campers and backpackers I crossed paths with. And nothing beats wading in the cold water on a hot day.
  • Working on the lakes – I got to go out on some of the lakes with my supervisor for water sampling and to deploy zebra mussel samplers. Sometimes we were on a canoe, other times we brought a larger rowboat with a trolling motor. I just love being on the water so those days didn’t even feel like work at all.
  • Sampling for invertebrates – aquatic insect larvae really freak me out, but I enjoyed getting out to one of the streams this year and netting for invertebrates. They’re super important water quality indicators, so I put on a brave face and helped two of my coworkers pick out 300 to send to the Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network. I’ll admit, some of them were pretty cool looking.
  • Making my first poster – I usually hate writing, but I really liked making my poster for the MIS workshop. I am very proud of the work I’ve done, and this is kind of the first time I’ve written something extensive not for a grade. Instead I was motivated by a desire to help the park and a sense of pride in what I was doing. That feels pretty dam(n) good.

Yup, definitely going to end this blog post on that dam pun.

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