The Best Part of Working in Biscayne National Park is….

The Best Part of Working in Biscayne National Park is….

Covering a sea turtle nest to prevent predation from raccoons. One of our many conservation projects in Biscayne National Park.

Gaining Experience and Familiarity in National Park Management,

Throughout the past seven weeks, I have been fortunate to work alongside and learn from many key personnel across the various divisions that keep Biscayne National Park operational. While it is expected that such a large natural area requires substantial manpower, the level of managerial organization within the park service is astonishing. Learning about the transfer of information up and down the supply chain has been both mentally stimulating and valuable, given my career aspirations. My biggest eye-opening moment had to be when all of the park workers assembled together to practice hurricane preparation. The collective preparedness and high levels of communication across divisions helped demonstrate the vital role communication plays in park functionality.

In my current role as an intern, I have primarily spent my time with the resource management division of Biscayne National Park. As part of this division, I help monitor many of Biscayne’s unique aquatic communities, including coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and coastal mangroves and beaches. Despite our ecological focus, some of our projects require direct interaction with the public, introducing an interdisciplinary and social perspective that greatly interests me as part of my separate dissertation studies.

Interacting with the Public,

My primary project for this internship, conducting creel (recreational fishing) surveys, requires public interaction. Though I am an ecologist by trade, one of my favorite activities on the job is speaking with the public about the health of our fish communities and how we all play a part in their conservation. Throughout the summer, I’ve found that our shared interest in increasing fish abundance and catch is an excellent icebreaker, even for those hesitant to participate in surveys. These surveys are vital for monitoring recreational fishing efforts and fish stocks across the park. However, I believe there is significant untapped potential for targeted information collection and outreach. With my summer project, I aim to gauge the effectiveness of current measures and find ways to improve on them.

and Observing Nature!

Though it may sound cliché, working in a national park and observing nature daily has been a dream of mine since I was a child. Even on office days, wildlife seems to always find its way into my daily experiences. Whether it is blue land crabs scurrying around my car, manatees swimming around public marinas, or sea turtles swimming alongside our boats on field days, being able to work closely with nature is an immeasurable benefit of working in the National Park Service. These frequent interactions also serve as constant reminders of the uniqueness of our areas and the importance of conserving these spaces so future generations can have the same experiences.

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