Let’s Talk about Vultures

This week was the first time I got to present my project to some people! Unlike others in the program who may be working on more tangible research projects with set variables and such, mine is a bit different. I got to choose my topic, what my variables are, and what I want my outcome to be. 

Being an intern on the interpretation side of things at a national park is definitely different but in a good way. My project in this park has been to write a program and give that program multiple times throughout my time here. This program is given at the Dickey Ridge visitor center, which is where I am based at.

Turkey Vulture Sun Bathing

The program is called “All Things Shenandoah” and the specific topic can be anything of our choice as long as we can relate it back to the park. For my topic I chose to talk about birds of prey… specifically vultures! Shenandoah National Park is home to two types of vultures, black and turkey and in my program I teach a little about both and their special roles in our ecosystem.

Choosing a topic was not very hard for me because I love birds. I am an avid birder! Now, choosing a specific bird was a bit of a challenge. I knew I wanted to talk about birds of prey but was debating between vultures and a few others. I think I ended up choosing vultures because they are an animal that is disregarded a lot of the time. They are never given much attention to and thought of as ugly and gross and I love sharing about them in a different light. It’s so far been really fun to teach about such a cool unique raptor.



Table setup for my program. Pictures of vultures, tape measure prop and notecards.

My setup under the Oak Tree

I love teaching and having an opportunity to do it again has been really fun. I get to present this program multiple times throughout the rest of the season so by the end it will hopefully be perfected and something that comes more naturally to me. I love that not only do I get to teach again but it’s something of my personal interest and something that I wrote and researched myself!

I am proud of myself for taking on such a challenge and having all summer to practice it and hopefully venture out to teaching different programs. 


Hopefully one day I can invite some friends and family up here to watch me present it!

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