You Learn Something New Everyday

Hello everyone! I have been all over the place this week and I’m excited to share some of my new knowledge. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am working on a social media campaign for our Latino Conservation Week events. I have been working with Elizabeth Rogers, Fire Island National Seashore’s Public Affairs Specialist. Elizabeth has taught me that appealing to your audience on social media is more than just a pretty picture and a clever caption. There is a lot of planning that goes into a social media post- whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. I also learned that certain times in the day are better for posting than others. A post during regular weekday office hours will generate less traffic than a post around 6 p.m. or later. This is really important to consider if you are advertising an event, as you want the maximum number of people possible to read about the program.

Fire Island Lighthouse

 During the weekend a ranger and I went over to Talisman, which is a popular area for boaters. This week we had a shelling program that a few children and some parents participated in. We will be having Park Ranger led programs there on the weekends, due to Watch Hill being closed this summer.  The visitors seemed excited to have a park ranger around and events going on. This was an exciting day for me because I haven’t seen much of Fire Island outside of our visitor centers. I know, I really need to get out and explore on one of my days off! The following day was spent at the lighthouse with Ranger Pat. We had National Park Jeopardy and some touch table items. I spent most of the day getting comfortable talking about the touch table items on my own. One of the volunteers taught me that the flag pole next to the lighthouse is about the same height as the first lighthouse. The first lighthouse stood 74 feet tall and the current lighthouse stands 168 feet tall.

On Monday, most of the interpretive staff went to First Aid, CPR, and AED training. The last time I refreshed my CPR and first aid knowledge was during high school, so it was great to go over everything again.

Asiatic Sand Sedge

Later during the week I was able to accompany wildlife biologist Lindsay Ries and resource management team members on Seabeach Amaranth and Seabeach Knotweed monitoring. It is important to monitor the abundance of Seabeach Amaranth because it is a globally rare G2 federally threatened species. The G2 status implies that the population is at high risk of extinction due to a low population or steep decline. Unfortunately, we did not find any amaranth plants. If we had, we would of placed an enclosure around them to protect them. Seabeach Knotweed is important to monitor as well because it is considered rare in New York State. One plant that we did find an abundance of was Asiatic Sand Sedge. This plant is a non-native invasive species that was found shortly after Hurricane Sandy. It prefers the same habitat as the Seabeach Amaranth. We spent some time carefully digging out the sedges. We tried our best not to leave any root pieces behind so that the plants don’t grow back. I was amazed by the length of the sedge roots! One of the plants had roots that went up to my shoulders. I’m 5’5″ so you can imagine how long they were.

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