Eager Anticipation!

Hello everyone! I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself; my name is Ana Murrieta. I am a student, artist, dog-lover, and Harry Potter fanatic! This fall I will be transferring from Pima Community College to the University of Arizona to pursue my dream degree of Natural Resources with an emphasis in Conservation Biology, and I am so grateful for this internship opportunity to start getting experience in my field!

Starting in August I will be working at Saguaro National Park with a small group of researchers, including fellow LHIP intern Mallary Parker, and I could not be more excited! We are going to be studying species of butterflies we find in Saguaro National Park. We will be creating a photographic log of the species, and this research is going to be a baseline for future research. It’s pretty cool to know that I will be contributing to something significant, and that this research will be used in the future. But, I am a little nervous about the new COVID-19 protocols. Wearing a mask is absolutely necessary, but wearing one while working in the Arizona sunshine and 110° heat–Yikes! I am also nervous about handling the butterflies, they seem so fragile. Before the COVID-19 shut down, I was volunteering at the Tucson Botanical Gardens to get experience handling butterflies. It was so awesome to be able to log how many butterflies emerged from their chrysalises and admire their beauty. The butterfly I included is one of my favorite ones I logged! It’s a Swallowtail, and while it isn’t native to Arizona, I’m glad I have the opportunity to admire beautiful species like these when I visit the Botanical Gardens. 

As the days inch closer to my internship start date, I am filled with more and more enthusiasm and eagerness to learn as much as I can! I know I will never forget this experience, and I will definitely be encouraging my friends to apply for this amazing program!

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