The first 5 weeks at the seashore – Lisset Olvera Chan

Hola Todos! Hello everyone! My name is Lisset Olvera Chan and I have been working as a Resource Management intern at Cape Hatteras National Seashore this summer! I recently graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in Wildlife Biology and this is my first time time going out into the field not as a student, but as a graduate. It feels very weird if I have to be honest, being out in the world without worrying about school, but it’s been a wonderful summer so far here in North Carolina. I arrived in North Carolina at around late last month, taking a plane from Minneapolis and going to Norfolk, Virginia and then took a uber down to the Outer Banks headquarters where I would stay for my 12 weeks. Since then, I have been working in and out of the Outer Banks parks headquarters, doing research on the history of the ponies that live on Ocracoke island, a part of the National Seashore. The reason for this research is to gather background information on both the history of the horses and how early horse management was like once the National Parks Service acquired the land in the early 1950’s. This history is important for making a new Horse Management plan, which my main project this summer focuses on making the intro on this new Management plan.

The famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse!

In my studies as a Wildlife Biology major, developing a wildlife management plan is one of the most important, but also one of the most difficult things Wildlife biologists do. This is due to how much research and time you have to pour into, and also other factors like visiting a habitat or having to conduct surveys. Research is absolutely integral to developing a Wildlife Management Plan, so everything needs to be taken into account when creating one. This research has is what I have been doing these past several weeks, going through letters and documents that are part of the history of Horse management in Cape Hatteras. While it is alot to take in, since management for the Ocracoke horses has been present since the late 1960’s, it has been such an interesting tale of both the National Seashore and the Citizens of Ocracoke both doing their part in saving and helping the horses that live there. I read through these documents and could not help but think about how important these people are in shaping what we know about the horses of Ocracoke and what has been done to them over the years. Even with this information in mind, I know this is just step one in the plan to create a Wildlife management plan for the Ocracoke horses. I’m very excited to see what’s in store for me and the history I will unearth as I continue this internship.

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