There are two things in life that have always interested me: nature and people. So far, every day this internship has blown my mind with the exciting ways I’ve been able to interact with both of them. Meeting the other interns will probably stand out as one of the more eye opening events in my young career. It was not only incredibly refreshing, but encouraging to meet people from around the country that I had so much in common with. One week in San Diego and I’m not sure any of us stopped talking the whole time. Somebody would make a comment about an outdoor adventure or something our hispanic family had done and we would go off on a 20 minute conversation – it was like we had known each other for years.
Since then I have had the opportunity to meet dozens of people in the Natural Resource field and I have noticed an inspiring trend: passion and dedication. Whether it is talking about career goals, future opportunities, or current projects, the people I have been lucky enough to work with seem tirelessly impassioned by what they do. I once thought I was crazy for becoming overly animated about things as simple as being outdoors, seeing wildlife and/or trying to fight for its conservation, but everyone I have worked with so far seems to share that same passion. Some of the individuals I have learned from have been in their jobs for more than 15 years but I can still see their eyes light up when they are explaining what they do – If that isn’t inspiring and reassuring that I am right where I need to be then I don’t know what is!
In addition to the people, I am spoiled with the opportunity to conduct bird surveys on the back roads of the wetlands where the general public does not have access. As of right now there has been one Wilson’s Phalarope and one Snowy Plover in the Blanca Wetlands and I was there to welcome both of them. Many mornings I marvel at the fact that a job such as mine even exists because I feel so fortunate to be able to do these things. Being around like-minded people and incredible landscapes 24/7 is something I did not imagine I would have the chance to do and still be able to call it a career. It makes me realize how important our outreach is: other people need to know that they can get outside, make a difference, and have a job they love!