The Texas Mid-Coast… or Nature’s Wonderland


Above: Wolfweed Wetlands—San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge

I love the idea of working for a government environmental agency–National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife, etc.–so when I got offered a position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I was definitely happy. When I was told I would be working in Water Resources, I was ecstatic. That was my focus in college!

My assignment is to inventory all of the water resources on the Wildlife Refuges along the Texas Mid-Coast and expand from there. This inventory covers everything—water quantity and quality, water rights, water infrastructure…anything to do with water (which is practically everything!). This data will later become a part of a nationwide database that will help determine what funds are allocated to which refuges based on need.

I knew very little about the National Wildlife Refuge System before I started. I had never intentionally gone to a refuge before I moved to one, and that was a shock! As soon as I stepped out of my car, I was greeted by mosquitoes. Luckily, my mom was with me and she was clear-headed enough to find the bug spray.

After I moved to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, I was sent to Albuquerque, NM for job training.

Albuquerque from above

I made friends with the other interns immediately. The office environment was welcoming and my supervisors were so helpful. I would wake up to hot air balloons in the sky every morning.

I’m excited about this internship. I expect to learn so much from this experience, and this place is pretty amazing. I’ve already seen so many new things! From some of the tiniest butterflies…

Eastern Pygmy Blue butterflies—Brephidium isophthalma. Found in salt marsh tidal flats.

…to the largest reptiles…

American Alligator–Alligator mississippiensis

…from a young beauty…

American Beautyberry—Callicarpa americana

…to an old monster…

Texas State Champion Live Oak–Quercus fusiformis

The diversity of the Texas Coastal Prairies and Marshes ecoregion is astounding. I’m definitely going to enjoy my time here!