Skunk Works in the National Park Service

Walking down the aisle of the Moran Theater with a smile so wide it began to hurt, my eyes scoped the room, eventually locking frame where my supervisor and coworkers were. The moment I saw them at my high school graduation, I knew we would be more than just a team– we are a skunk works. A skunk works is a project developed by a small group of individuals, with little restriction primarily “for the sake of radical innovation” in regards to aerospace science. No- we are not crafting the aircrafts of the future; however, we bring relevancy regarding the National Park Service to the common people. From unraveling the rich, virtually unknown history of Jacksonville, to bringing youth out to Fort Caroline National Memorial through a summer BreakSpot, we will not stop until we engage as many common citizens to the Parks. The Urban Agenda is our aerospace science innovations. What I enjoy best about our skunk works is support and one-to-one interactions with each and every one of us. While we may all have our own task to accomplish, we get it done together; we have the assistance and guidance at our fingertips– we work together to get what needs to be done. Coming in as an inexperienced intern, I had very little knowledge of how the logistics worked at Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve (TIMU), or any other NPS site. I was nervous yet my body and mind sought the excitement and growth the internship would bring. I soon learned that Ashanté, Nathan, Natalia, and Sydney (as well as the other staff at TIMU) will fortify my understanding of the Park and the Urban Agenda, ultimately guiding me in the right path for my future. While we are work-driven, we still have our jokes and laughs. My supervisor and coworkers are more than that; I consider them friends. We are not the typical work group, and I’m glad we’re not. The way we are is what makes us such a strong skunk works. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my internship has in store with these great people.

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