It is my first week post-shorebird training without the rest of the interns here in San Diego. I miss you all! The week of training was amazing and my fellow interns made it that much better. As for the EFTA team, they are definitely the best in the business and you can tell they put a lot of love and hard work into their organization.

I am currently writing to you from my new work space at the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Chula Vista. I am going to be working in collaboration with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and while my primary focus is on shorebirds, conservation, and environmental education, I am definitely going to be learning a lot about other areas of field biology, the agency, and the refuge system. Just a quick refuge/geography lesson for everyone: the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex is made up of four different National Wildlife Refuges (NWR). The first is the San Diego Bay NWR, which is comprised of the Sweetwater Marsh (this is where the administrative headquarters are and where I’m based) and the South San Diego Bay Unit. The second is the San Diego NWR, which is about 16 miles east of my location and covers almost 12,000 acres in Jamul, CA. The next is Tijuana Slough NWR, which is located just south of me in Imperial Beach, CA. Finally, there is Seal Beach NWR, which is located about 100 miles north of San Diego in Orange County. While a majority of my time will be spent in and around the Sweetwater Marsh Unit, I will eventually be getting out to the other three sites to meet and work with the complex’s refuge managers, biologists, and other refuge staff. Oh, if you want to see what we’re all up to down here, follow us on Instagram @sandiegorefuges. Catch ya later!

– Janne

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