Putting things in perspective – Looking back on my internship as a whole

Putting things in perspective – Looking back on my internship as a whole

From elementary school to middle school, I used to go with my whole family to a California lake to camp, swim, and hold on tight to an inner tube that trailed from the back of my Auntie’s boat. These lake trips where I can be out in the water make up some of my fondest childhood memories. We stopped going to the lake and I do not think I really understood why until I started learning more about environmental science. California’s persistent drought caused the waterline to fall so drastically that the park had to close temporarily. Currently, it receives less than half of the annual visitors it used to. Additionally, the water is polluted with mercury from a nearby mine and it is unsafe to eat any of the fish that are caught (if you’re lucky to catch any). I feel upset that others will not be able to experience the lake the way I did when I was younger. My internship and school experiences help put these issues into perspective. I now have a better understanding of how to go about solving these environmental issues and how resource managers make decisions regarding their waterways.

The intricacies of stream monitoring may seem lost on most audiences. Throughout my career, I aim to communicate science in a relevant and understandable way with many different audiences. This lake in Monterey County is the perfect example of what people may be facing in their communities and I think everyone deserves to know why climate change is happening and what they can do to help. I am now heading back to graduate school in the community in grew up in with the goal of becoming a relevant resource manager. Thank you to the Mosaics in Science program and Environment for the Americas for giving us MIS interns this outstanding opportunity. Thank you to all at Monocacy National Battlefield for the wonderful memories and learning experience. I will miss being on the East Coast and hope to visit again sometime!

J. Aubrie Heckel

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