23 Nov Intern Introduction: Ana Petrie
My name is Ana Petrie, and I’m a Trails & Wilderness Intern at Shawnee National Forest as part of the Resource Assistant Program (RAP). The RAP is a 6-month internship with the U.S. Forest Service and a partner organization (for me, The Corps Network and Environment for the Americas), where interns can learn a specific skill set and gain experience with the Forest Service. My site, the Shawnee National Forest, is located in southern Illinois, which was exciting because this is my first time setting foot in the Midwest!
Before moving to Illinois, I was living in Hawaii, and Vermont before that. Growing up in those two states, my dad and I would always find ways to stay outside as long as possible, whether it be by swimming at Kailua Beach or camping in the Green Mountains.
This love and wonder of being outdoors steered me to double major in Environmental Science and Biology at Colby College in Maine, from where I just recently graduated this past May. While at college, I had the opportunity to do a trail work internship at a local arboretum in Hawaii for a summer. Although I learned a lot, it would’ve been impossible to cover everything—so I’m looking forward to filling in the gaps in my time here at the Shawnee National Forest.
In the future, I’d like to continue working at various places across the U.S. with the Forest Service, and get to know forests different from the ones I grew up in. But going back home and doing conservation work to the two states that gave me that initial love for nature would be special too.
I enjoy working within conservation, and I’m most interested in plant conservation and native habitat restoration, so I’m hoping to pursue that as well. And even further down the line, I’d like to go back to school and learn what I can about botany and ethnobotany, specifically the Okinawan ethnobotany.
But for now, I’m happy to be at the Shawnee!