04 Aug My First Awesome Internship Experience
A picture at the “Heart of the Sunken Forest”
Experiencing my first professional internship as an intern for the National Park Service and Environment for the Americas as part of the Latino Heritage Internship Program has been an amazing learning experience that has introduced me to the workforce and operations of the NPS. Being part of the staff of Fire Island National Seashore and helping with the preservation of an important barrier beach, that is often taken for granted, has been just the beginning of my journey. As an environmental science student, my goal has always been environmental stewardship. What a better way to start that mission than a local, delicate environment.
I live within 20 miles of the east part of Fire Island, the Lighthouse, and prior to this internship, I was unaware of the existence of Fire Island National Seashore and all that it composes; from the Lighthouse to the maritime, holly Sunken Forest at Sailors Haven, or the salt marshes at Watch Hill, and the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness within the park. Fortunately, this summer, through LHIP, I have learned about this local, beautiful park and the efforts and operations that are being made to protect it. As an education and outreach intern, I have been part mostly of the interpretation team to educate and to outreach to the public, specifically Latino, on the importance of Fire Island National Seashore. Even though my time at Fire Island National Seashore has come to an end, it doesn’t mean my passion and efforts towards protecting the environment is done. Now that I’m fully aware of the natural features and existence of this park that is within my reach, I feel the need to get more involved with local communities to better protect these ecosystems. My plan now is still to be involved with Fire Island National seashore as a volunteer, see what the future holds for me, and perhaps return to FIIS if I have the chance. As for Environment for the Americas, I just want to say Gracias for being the organization that allowed me to experience my first internship, and what protecting the environments looks like. Thank you for this amazing summer!