28 Jun Busy Bee
Every week is busier than the last, and there has been a lot of training going on. Last week we had a staff meeting where we went over the park handbook. We discussed the dangers of ticks and how to best protect ourselves against them. We also discussed what to do and who to contact in case of an emergency. Thefollowing day I attended a new employee orientation. The seasonal employees, other interns, and I went on a tour of Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS). Before our field trip most of us were tested for Lyme disease. I hate blood work, so going through with this felt like a huge achievement. We started our day with a brief tour of the William Floyd Estate. Every ranger has their own way of interpreting the Estate’s history, so it was nice to hear from a different person’s perspective. Unfortunately it started pouring rain as we were leaving, and we all got soaked. We then went over to the Wilderness Center at Smith Point County Park and discussed the breach. I learned that some of the other interns were doing salt marsh monitoring and deer research. Being surrounded by staff with years of experience can be intimidating at times, so it was nice to talk to other people who are new to the park like I am. The next destination on our trip was the Fire Island Lighthouse. We were told that the rain was moving away, so we took our chances and traveled to the lighthouse by boat. It was a cloudy day but the view was still breathtaking. I felt like a tourist for taking so many pictures. I was told that on a clear day you can see the Manhattan skyline from the top of the lighthouse. Afterwards we went to Sailors Haven to discuss the importance of the forest. We were lucky enough to spot a box turtle on our brief walk! Animal sightings are always exciting. We then made a pit stop by Watch Hill to drop off the staff members that are staying in the housing units. Unfortunately, Watch Hill is closed for the summer due to maintenance. I hope that I get the opportunity to explore Watch Hill during the remainder of my internship. If not, it is one thing on my bucket list for next summer.
Sunday was Father’s Day, so we had a hike to the breach. The event was timed so that we would get to see the sunset. It was great talking to the people who came out. There was a couple who had attended our horseshoe crab moon event, and said they enjoyed themselves so much they came back to visit us again! This week the training continued. Some of the FIIS employees attended an interpretative training at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. This was a treat because this national park site is a lot closer to my house, and it is a place where I have never been before. The interpretative training was definitely helpful and useful in providing tips. The workshop was a bit intimidating for me because all of the other participants had at least a couple years of experience under their belts, and here I was with two weeks of experience. I realize that I’m a little shy when it comes to public speaking, but I received some great tips on how to convey information in an engaging way. Yesterday we had another informative training session. We talked about the park’s current scientific research, and we practiced answering some tough questions we might receive. The session was extremely informative and it was great having the experts around to help answer questions. One thing I love about this internship is that I’m constantly learning new things.
I also want to add that it is National Pollinator Week! So this weekend we will be having a few events to celebrate all of the wonderful pollinators… Until next time!