Confidence and Resilience

As this internship wraps up, I reflect on what has happened. From going to a dislike of the desert to a “this is a really beautiful ecosystem”. My first hands-on experience with wildlife management such as collecting dragonfly larvae for the dragonfly-mercury project to tortoise telemetry. Another highlight is being part of the Saguaro Arm research project. This project started in April of 2023, what makes this experience a memorable one is that no one has done this type of research. The project aims to further understand how these giants grow by looking at the arms. The question that I find interesting is will we learn if the timing of a Saguaro’s first arm correlates with its age or its height? The main takeaway from this internship is personal achievement and reassurance. Two years ago, a life-altering accident happened right when I was leaving the service and at the beginning of the last year of my undergraduate studies. My life changed and I was in a controlled downhill spiral. The last couple of months have eased my anxiety and fear. I learned to stand tall like a saguaro, to recognize the slow pace of my body healing, both physical and mental, but to drive on like a desert tortoise, and both are resilient to challenges. I am now telling myself that I got this, one step at a time.

Filling in an old mine to make it safe for wildlife. The deepest part was around 10 feet.
Filling in the mine while building my confidence back up.
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