Week 1: Pokémon and a Fishing Clinic

I have just about completed my first week working at the National Park Service Intermountain Regional Office and it’s been a fun week. I spent two days driving from Chino, California to Denver, Colorado to move out for the summer. My mom, dad and brother came with me through four national parks as a family road trip. We got to see the red rocks of Zion National Park and the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park in the first leg of the trip, stopping in Teasdale, Utah for the night.

Bryce Canyon's Inspiration Point overlooking the amphitheater of hoodoos.

Bryce Canyon’s Inspiration Point overlooking the amphitheater of hoodoos visible after a short hike up the hill.

On the second half of the trip we drove through Capitol Reef National Park and made a stop at Arches National Park to hike to the famous Delicate Arch. The scenery was beautiful and it was awesome to see how the landscape changed so drastically from park to park.
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A photo of Delicate Arch at Arches National Park that I captured at the end of our hike.

After settling in at the office and meeting the other interns at my site I was assigned to work on my first project. Unexpectedly, the mobile app “Pokemon Go,” released on July 6, 2016 was of major interest to the National Park Service. It began when people began to show up at parks around the country to play the game as many monuments, signs, art exhibits and other points of interest became hubs where players would interact with the sites to claim items or battle. I worked with the other interns in my department, Isabel and Julia, on a report that will be sent out to parks and employees throughout the region which details how the game is played and what safety concerns the NPS has regarding visitors who play the game at parks and historic sites.
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Isabel catching a Squirtle on my arm to demonstrate how the game works.

On Thursday I was able to go out of the office to a fishing clinic held by the Urban Rangers. Kids from the Denver area were bussed to Lake Lehow where the Urban Rangers taught them about fish anatomy, native and non-native species, ecosystems and food chains and how to fish. The rangers were energetic and excited to show the kids how to cast and fish in the small lake. It didn’t take long for a few of them to catch fish that were visible from the shoreline. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the Urban Rangers and visiting the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument next week.

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An Urban Ranger teaching a lesson on native and non-native species of fish.

An Urban Ranger teaching a lesson on native and non-native species of fish.

An Urban Ranger helps a young girl with the fish that she caught.

An Urban Ranger (right) helps a young girl with the fish that she caught.

 

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