First Blog of The Summer! – Kenia Villagran

Hi everybody! My name is Kenia Villagran (she/they), and I am a Biology and Visitor Services intern at the Mid-Colombia National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Burbank, Washington! I was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas and I’m a Senior at West Texas A&M University! Go Buffs! I’m currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology and I would eventually like to have a career in conservation! I want to be a part of it all.

I’ve loved animals and nature since I was a child. There was never a time when I wasn’t nose-deep in an Eyewitness Book and was fascinated by the subject that I was reading. Watching my heroes on TV like Steve Irwin, Sir David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, and many others would always invoke a sense of wonder and curiosity for nature within me. Even now, they still do. Being surrounded by these elements throughout my childhood has led and inspired me to go towards the path I’m taking to become a conservationist.

I’m so excited to make new memories and gain new skills through this Internship. This first week has been a blast so far. Just having the honor of being here has me feeling giddy inside. I hope to improve my identification skills while I’m here, and I’ll be looking forward to learning about the different types of flora and fauna in the refuge complex. I’m also going to take tons of pictures! I’d like to think that I’m not a half bad wildlife photographer! Here are some pictures I took in March on a Port Aransas trip with my Ornithology class! I also want to share a photo of an albino bison and her baby while I was on my way to my site!


I won “Best People Photo” in the article my university’s newsletter wrote about our trip!

There are so many things that my mentors have planned for me too! Next week it looks like I’ll be assisting in banding some burrowing owls! I hope that I do a great job, and that I’ll maybe even get the chance to hold an owl too!

Here’s to a wonderful summer for everyone and I hope all of us have a blast at our internships!



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