27 Jul Kaua‘i Time Coming to an End
Aloha everyone! With two weeks remaining of my internship at the Kaua’i National Wildlife Refuge Complex, it is time to reflect upon how great of an experience this summer has been. My projects are beginning to wrap up. I just gave my final presentation yesterday about how working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been incredible within the past 3 months. I have networked with some fantastic people throughout my internship and have learned much about birds and the National Wildlife Refuge System.
One of the things that I will miss the most from the internship is the nēnē or Hawaiian Geese! Kaua’i is home to over 60% of the nēnē population out of the entire State of Hawai’i. The nene was basically my next-door neighbor for the last few months. Back on the island of O’ahu, where I currently attend school, there are no nēnē. Only 1 or 2 nēnē have been seen recently, but that’s it! Whenever I look out my window here on Kaua’i, I see a nēnē. These birds have grown on me and have become one of my favorite animals! Once this internship ends, I probably will not see a nēnē again unless I travel to a different island that is not O’ahu.
I will also miss the quietness and calmness of Kaua’i. Where I live on the island of O’ahu (the neighboring island to Kaua’i), it is much busier, touristy, and more city-like. But, in Kaua’i, most roads are one-lane, so it is much quieter, more peaceful, and more rural. Although it is a much smaller island compared to O’ahu, it was great to experience a change in scenery for a few months, and I will miss that aspect.
I really enjoyed making these blog posts. It is a great resource to utilize when I want to reflect upon my summer of 2023 as an intern at the Kaua’i National Wildlife Refuge Complex. This program has felt surreal; being out here was a dream come true. I never had an internship like this before. Sure, working over 40 hours a week wearing full field gear in the hot island sun was challenging at times, but I would do it all over again. Since I was the first-ever Environment for the Americas intern at the Kaua’i National Wildlife Refuge Complex, I hope these blogs set the stage for the following interns. Look out for my last blog post coming out next week. Thank you.
This week, I presented my final presentation about my experience at the internship to over 100 people that watched the DFP/MANRRS Internship Presentation in-person and online virtually. It was great to share what I’ve learned with this many people. Besides losing my internet connection within the first few minutes of my presentation, everything went well, and my computer completely froze! Being in the Hawaiian Islands, the most isolated place on the planet may sometimes need better Wi-Fi and internet connectivity. After fixing the technical difficulties, after several minutes had passed, I could finish my presentation! I loved learning about what the other interns have accomplished during their term. Altogether, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work at the Kaua’i National Wildlife Refuge Complex. This summer has been one of the most remarkable experiences of my life!
THANKS FOR CHECKING OUT THIS WEEKS BLOG! UNTIL NEXT TIME!
– SAMANTHA GARCIA