A Day in the Life of an Intern at Trinity River NWR

A Day in the Life of an Intern at Trinity River NWR

Matthew Dutton

There’s never a dull moment here. I wake up every morning to birds calling outside my window, steaming rising off the lake, and sun rising, marking the dawn of a new day. Most mornings begin with a message from my boss Laurie, with a rough idea of what the day may look like, but like I was told during the hiring process, “if you take this job, know that this isn’t the job for someone who likes routines or to have their week planned out.” and that is the truth.

I make my way to the office which is about a 35 minute drive. Once there I check in with Laurie, check my work email, and get started on the days tasks.

Plants are a huge part of our days here on the refuge. Laurie loves to snack throughout the day. During field days or just field trips, we are being taught about the names of plants in preparation of vegetation surveys, but also because Laurie loves to forage. It wouldn’t be a normal day without having to look around and realize that your boss is a quarter mile behind you picking at dew berries or some native onion.

Trinity River NWR is also home to an abundance of hiking trails. Certain days of the week we don’t have access to the office until 10:00 am, to make sure we are starting at 8 am, and getting our hours in on time, Laurie sends us to the trails to remove any graffiti, survey for any trail damage, and to check for water levels to see if they need to be closed off. Like I said before, there is no planning for what a day might bring, you just have to be able to roll with the punches!!

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