I am coming to the end of week four of my internship, and I already feel like I have gotten a lot done! I have been doing a lot of work on my photo project, organizing many more photos and tagging them for the department’s new Flickr account that I created. Now that I have completed going through all of the photos available on the joint drive for the department, Tom and I have reached out to the department staff to have them send me in some more photos from their personal computers. I am still waiting on those to be sent to me, however there is a biologist in my office who has given me some incredible bird photos that he has taken to sort through.
In addition to the photo project, I have begun to work on some other small projects. The first is to edit lists of ‘talking points’ for the department. These talking points are to guide biologists when answering questions that are often posed to them from the public, such as to explain the deer urine ban or the bait fish rule. I have edited old lists of talking points and even created a few lists of my own. As fun as it is to look at photos, it is a nice change to be doing some writing and looking at words again!
I have also been tasked with creating infographics for the department on certain topics. These are similar to posters, that explain certain things to the public with graphics in a fun, easy-to-look-at format. My first infographic that I started today explains the baitfish regulations that the department enforces.
When I am not working, I continue to volunteer on the bear study in Southern Vermont that I have been volunteering on for the past year. This is a study that is being done by Vermont Fish & Wildlife to assess the impact that a wind turbine project will have on the bear population once built. Last weekend I helped out with trapping, and we got a bear that we named Murphy. Since this is considered field work for the department, which is a component of my internship, Tom said that in the future I could work on the bear study and count it towards field days for work. In order for it to count for work, I am supposed to be increasing my level of responsibility when we are working with the bears. Next time we trap, I will be eartagging the bear myself, as well as learning how to reset the traps!
I also had an exciting field day last week, when I participated in a field necropsy workshop. I got to assist in necropsying a deer carcass as well as an owl and an otter carcass. I also got to see foxes, bobcats, and fisher necropsied. Sounds gross, but it was really, really cool!
I would say that right now I am still mostly intrigued by all of the work that everyone is doing around me. I enjoy talking to other people in the office about what projects they are working on, as well as sitting in on the outreach meetings and hearing about the dozens of projects that my coworkers are involved in. I would say that I am a little overwhelmed in thinking about having multiple things that I am working on now, since I now have to divide my time between the photo project and the infographic project, as well as other smaller side projects in a short twenty-hour-per-week internship. I just want to be sure that I am getting everything accomplished and not forgetting to spend enough time on something! Still, Tom has said that I am very ahead right now so I’ll be alright! I am definitely most confident that I am doing a good job on the photo project, since I have heard a lot of positive feedback from Tom and other people in the office.
One of my assumptions when beginning this internship was that I would be working on small projects and assisting with things that weren’t too significant; in other words, that I wouldn’t be making a large impact on this work environment as an intern. That has definitely not been the case, as it seems that there is a large need for an organized photo database, and the project that I am working on will not only benefit the people in my office, but everyone in the department in offices around the state. I am so glad that the work I am doing will continue to help out the department in the future!