Hi! My name is Cristina and I'm a senior at Northeastern State University in beautiful Tahlequah Oklahoma, studying fish and wildlife! I am working towards graduate school in resource management and I hope to work in Indian Country to help give back to my people and help preserve our natural resources.
This summer I have been an intern at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge Maryland. I work for the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service though a partnership with the Student Conservation Association. I plan to document all my awesome experiences and cool things I see in my blog, So, read on!!........
Today I shadowed Susanne Baird, the refuge manager. Talking with her was exciting! Until now I knew I wanted to work in wildlife management or land conservation but I couldn’t really narrow that I wanted to do to a specific program. Managers take everything into consideration and work with the big picture.
I love this idea.
I listened in on a conference call for the creation of a new historic paddle trail and also a meeting with contractors for a new wing in the visitor’s center on the refuge. I learned that partnership is critical in politics and support for any program you are pushing for. Just think of it. Me..your boss.. Muwahaha
I just finished proofreading ten years of waterfowl surveys for Blackwater. Now I’m not going to lie, it was not the most exciting project I have done, and I had to ask myself if what I was doing was actually relevant, but it was. The numbers had not been checked since being added to the Excel spreadsheet so if you were to make any charts or models for things like grant writing or managing for trends, you would run the risk of misinterpreting the actual data.
To get a feel for how many numbers I checked, there were about 3 days in one month and for each day there were about 75 points. Then consider that the survey went back ten years, so I checked roughly 27,000 points. Wheew!
There are only a few remaining islands in the Chesapeake Bay that provide habitat for local shellfish, waterfowl and nesting colonial water birds. Barren Island is one of these. There is a long term project going on there planting cordgrass to help keep the sediments from eroding away.
The SCA/FWS program that I'm in came to Blackwater last year for their orientation week, and as a part of it they had to complete one service project together. They replanted a portion of Barren Island, Today I checked up on how things looked from a planting that took place May 2009.
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