This was my introductory week at both Elkhorn slough and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). I have to admit I was extremely excited beforehand but actually being there gave me such a sense of awe,accomplishment, excitement and a greater eagerness to start working. Everyone was so nice, so informative and helpful; it really does seem like a dream coming true for me. I feel like I’m applying knowledge that took years to accumulate, and that makes me feel so involved in where I am.
As stated before, will be working at Elkhorn slough for the first 6 weeks, and let me tell you, the scenery is AMAZING. Going out there to the overlook, seeing the railroad and divisions of the marshes, the Eucalyptus trees at the far right.. you get a breath-taking sight every time. (picture of the Reserve at bottom, just for a taste) 🙂 I love being outdoors and doing the shorebird surveys is more like having fun than doing a job. When I was there for the first time I ran into a professor from my last semester at CSUMB, and as I heard the students that were with her asking each other about the bird species at the marsh, I started identifying the common characteristics of each and the names of the birds present. Being able to share knowledge and hear the students say “Ohh, so that’s what that one is called!” is so thrilling and rewarding, and not only applies to surveys; I’ve had a blast helping in community outreach and education as well. This Thursday we had four different classes of fifth graders and its great seeing (and hearing) their expressions of amazement, awe, disgust and a little of each in between, as they observe various macro-invertebrates under a dissecting microscope. Saturday was a teacher workshop, and let me tell you; I don’t care if you’re a kid or an adult, the reactions are the same when you’re looking through a microscope, doing plankton tows on the bridge, or looking at spiders after collecting them in observation containers.
This is the essence of exploring; having fun, being constantly amazed and surprised with what you see, and always asking questions. I see this in every aspect that I work in, doesn’t matter how different. And working at the Slough, (even though I’ve barely started) makes me feel like I’ll be discovering, teaching, and truly, making a difference; scientifically with the surveys, and personally with the public.
(Can’t wait for next week!)
(wild turkey on the loose!) 🙂