An artsy Texan majoring in History doing conservation work


Howdy! My name is Kayla Morain and I am a Visitor Services intern stationed at Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex! Cameron Prairie is just one of the four refuges here in Southwest Louisiana. We also manage Sabine, Lacassine and Shell Keys Refuges.

I was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas and went on to the University of North Texas out of high school. I am a junior there and am double majoring in History and RTVF (Radio, TV, and Film). You read that right. Not biology, wildlife management, forestry, nor anything conservation related… art and history. So, how did I get here and WHY am I here?
One day in Chemistry class, our teacher went off tangent talking about the importance of internships. She told us that if we printed out an information sheet on an internship and turned it in, we could get extra credit. Extra credit? DONE.

I googled internships and came across the Student Conservation Association (SCA). I have always been interested in nature and animals. But I never really thought of conservation as a career choice; I suppose I just thought of it as a hobby. So I printed out the info sheet and got five extra bonus points on a test.

I didn’t think about it afterwards. I did however sign up for SCA updates. Several weeks later, I received an email stating that my application fee had been waived. Naturally, I thought, what the heck!

To make the long story short, I got interviewed by my future supervisor and got offered a job in Southwest Louisiana. I had never been to Louisiana before. It was an opportunity I’ve always been curious about, so I was very excited to accept.

I am blessed that I get to have this opportunity. Everyone has a starring role in conservation because we all play a role on this earth. What can be more important than the Earth we share with each other? And if I, the artsy Texan who can’t tell the difference between a crow and a grackle – I can now – can play a role, then you certainly can make a difference as well.

I hope you follow my journey as I conquer new tasks and explore exciting things here on the refuge. My fellow interns and I have several projects coming up that I will highlight in my upcoming posts. I can’t wait to see what else is waiting for me! Until then, God Bless!

P.S. That’s the sunset from my bedroom window.