I can’t believe it has already been a month since this internship started. So far, it has been filled with a deeper appreciation for nature, lots of laughter, and hard work! This past week, Garret and I have been getting up extra early in the morning (prime time for birds are around 7am-11am) to begin our first round of bird surveys. I haven’t taken any bird identification classes, so identifying birds is definitely a skill that I am currently learning! Luckily, Garret has some experience with bird identification and I have been learning a lot from him. Although I am not usually a morning person, bird surveys have been my favorite thing to do so far. I admire how beautiful and unique birds can be, from their physical characteristics to their loud pitched calls. I can now confidently identify a couple of birds, such as: red-winged blackbirds, indigo buntings, and cat birds. I spend a lot of my extra time (if I am lucky to get any) studying bird calls and familiarizing myself with them.
Aside from bird surveys, we have been making great progress with our invertebrate and vegetation surveys. We had a rough first start. We realized that conducting a vegetation survey for one 100m long transect took us the entire afternoon. Due to our time constraints, we had to reduce the amount of vegetation surveys per transect. I realized that it’s okay to not be able to get everything done as planned. We just have to work hard in the best way we can for the remaining weeks we have left. This entire internship has been a learning experience. I appreciate all the advice given to me so far: how to get to grad school, how to get published/steps to publishing, and how to stay motivated even when things seem to be hard! I can’t wait to see what the final 4 weeks will entail. Till next time!