My first week of internship training for the environment for the Americas was a success. I met so many kind and caring people from various parts of the world and it amazed me to learn how different, yet similar their lifestyles were compared to mine. I am really appreciative towards Sue and Cassy for being able to bring all the interns as well as myself together to learn the techniques and skills so that we could take a bigger step towards our shared interest of environmental conservation. I really enjoyed being able to connect with everyone there, whether it being during our morning hikes with the shorebird surveys or in the afternoons when we would have a wide array of conversations ranging from diversifying our communities to environmental education. I had never imagined that I could learn so much about shorebirds and the impact that they have on the rest of the world in only a week. It still amazes me how fast that week of training flew by.
Recently, I have begun working at the San Diego Fish & Wildlife Refuge site and it has been absolutely incredible. I’m glad that during the training we spent most of our time there because the familiarity definitely helps me feel more comfortable. Also, I’m grateful to have Katelyn there working with me as well because it makes the transition process easier when you know someone. On my first day at the site, my supervisor Chantel, gave an orientation session and discussed what we would be doing, such as conducting a lot of outreach with different sites and coordinating environmental conservation events. Hearing about how everyday was going to be a bit different made me feel excited because I love learning new things and being in nature. Katelyn and I began researching activities and sponsors for our International Migratory Bird Day event in May. We are organizing a meeting to pitch our ideas. Organizing a meeting sounds scary at the moment, yet exciting. Even though I’ve only been working at my site for about three days, I’ve already learned so much. When we drove to a site that was on the opposite side of the salt ponds, I was able to see what my supervisor does when she has kids from elementary schools come to an educational event. On that day, the ocean connector organization brought sixth graders from a local school to learn about how to use the binoculars when identifying birds and what they could do to help promote habitat restoration. It was great meeting the people from that organization and seeing how much this shared passion of promoting environmental conservation is widespread. I watched as Chantel was giving her habitat restoration presentation to the kids. It was amazing to see how natural it was for her – I can’t wait to be able to do what she does. I also really enjoyed being able to help the kids identify the types of birds they were looking at and teaching them how to properly plant their plant species that was specifically part of the coastal sage scrub family. When I was helping the kids identify the types of shorebirds they were looking at, I definitely felt like more of an expert on them than I did a week ago and it felt really good. Anyways, my first week of work went better than I expected and I can’t wait to take on my next task!