I’m Not Alone

Hello to everyone reading this, I have a bit of advice and some updates about my ongoing internship at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area in Newport, Oregon. I am the Education and Outreach intern here at YHONA through Environment for the Americas and the Bureau of Land Management. Working here for the past 3 and ½ months, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve reflected a great amount on my experiences here as well.

This past month I’ve the amazing opportunity to participate and attend the Environment for the Americas Pacific Northwest Intern Career and Leadership Workshop in Leavenworth, Washington. This event took the span of three days, it gave me and the other interns a chance to network with each other and learn about the work everyone is doing in their respective parks, refuges, and offices. Day 1 of the workshop consisted of an initial meet and greet with the interns, as well as a presentation on how to get into graduate school hosted by my supervisor, Stephanie Loredo, and the faculty research assistant of the Ecohydrology Lab at Oregon State University, Daniel Gomez. I recently graduated from the University of California, Merced with my B.S. of Biological Sciences and an emphasis in Cell and Molecular Biology. I have had the idea of going to graduate school to pursue a Master’s in Wildlife Biology in the back of my mind for a while now, this workshop really helped understand what that would look like and how much of my time I would need to dedicate to graduate school. Day 2 consisted of bird identification practice, native flower and shrub identification along with a hike, intern group discussion, a careers in conservation panel, as well as an ethics in fishing and hunting seminar. My favorite was the bird identification activity because we were able to spot a Black-Capped Chickadee. Day 3 was the last day of the workshop and it was made up of more bird identification in the morning, an introduction to fly fishing, as well as a storytelling and public speaking activity. Overall, it was an amazing opportunity to meet the other PNW EFTA interns and be able to learn about all the different work that we have done during our respective internships.

Since I have came back to Yaquina Head after my trip, I have a new mindset and I have felt refreshed hearing from other people’s perspectives. Before starting my internship I wanted to do as much as I can as well as get as much out of it. I was notified that I was not required to create my own Yaquina Head lighthouse tour interpretive program. I know that although it is not required of me, I knew I should in order to gain skills in costume interpretation. I have been hesitant to create my own lighthouse tour of the Yaquina Head lighthouse because I know there weren’t any lighthouse keepers that look like me but I realized I will do a lighthouse tour in order to expose people to the fact that even a Mexican-American like me can be a park ranger. I have faced some discrimination from visitors at the park because I am Hispanic, but I want to let everyone know that if you are also going through similar things, you are not alone.

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