This internship has gone by very fast! I can’t believe that it has been six months since it started back in February. Along the way I have met a lot of interesting individuals that work for different agencies doing different avian related projects. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with the California Coastal National Monument, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, Point Blue conservation science, and US Fish and Wildlife Service. The experiences that I gain by working with all these individuals are one of a kind.

Prior to this internship, I was skeptical about the kind of work I wanted to be involved with. Thanks to this internship I have finally found something that connects all the things that I care for. I have realized that I want to work with avian species. It connects my interest for the outdoors and bird watching. Prior to this internship birding was just a hobby, but now it’s my mission to dedicate my work to something that will help my feathered friends.

This internship gave me the opportunity to get involved with the monitoring of the northern shorebird migration. I have to say that it was an amazing opportunity, being out in the field during low tide documenting all the different species. It was always exciting, you never knew if you were going to find a species that was uncommon to the area. I also had the opportunity to monitor Black Oystercatchers (BLOY), all the way from nesting to raising their young. I have learned so much about them from watching them for six months that I feel like I can talk BLOY. There were other projects such as monitoring the Caspian Tern colonies and Snowy Plover that were part of my experiences.

Best of all, I had the opportunity to participate in classroom presentations of all ages and tabling at public events. Public outreach has a different meaning for me now. It’s not as easy as it looks; it takes time and patience to become better at working with the public. My public speaking skills have increased and I can say that I am more confident of myself now. Overall, this internship has given me a very unique set of skill that will help me succeed wherever I go.

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