04 Sep Fun Times at Yaquina Head pt. 1
Time has flown by at Yaquina Head because my season here is reaching its end 🙁 I’ve spent the past few months learning how to become a park educator and interpreter by participating in lots of visitor services and educational opportunities, and by learning from my peers and mentor! This internship has helped me to grow tremendously and I’m really grateful for this experience! This blog will act as a part 1 to summarize the rest of my time here at Yaquina Head.
After we did virtual educational programs in the early spring, we transitioned to in-person programs at the tide pools! The students in all educational programs really enjoyed the free roaming tide pool exploration segment. During this time, I would point out some of the tide pool animals like sea lemons and sea stars to the students. I even found a pool with a few red urchins which some students really enjoyed! A rare finding included the opalescent nudibranch, which a student found during one of the super low tides of the month.
On another note, World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) happened on May 14th! This year’s theme was how birds are affected by light pollution, for example it can lead migratory birds to become disoriented at night and it can interfere with their internal clock. For WMBD, I designed a Junior Birder leaflet that was inspired by Yaquina Head’s very own Junior Ranger pamphlet. We had eight junior birders that day which was super exciting! I also set up a table which included the Junior Birder leaflets and themed posters, pins, stickers and informational pamphlets. Much thanks to Alyssa who helped me prepare for this event, and to the volunteers who staffed the common murre and peregrine falcon tables, those were a success!
During the summer, I got to attend a two week Certified Interpretive Guide course at Yaquina where I learned about interpretive techniques and how to develop my very own interpretive program! We also received additional natural resources trainings presented by some of my fellow coworkers and other scientists who discussed the geology and botany of Yaquina. For my interpretive program, I chose to focus mine on sea otters which covered some of their main characteristics, how the maritime fur trade led to their near eradication, and why sea otters are significant to maintaining marine biodiversity. I was able to deliver my program to visitors throughout the summer. The props that I used included images, a sea otter plushie, and a dead sea urchin! I had lots of fun talking with the visitors who attended my programs, I met someone who had been a park ranger and had done interpretation for 7 years.
Stay tuned for part 2!