I am five months into my internship working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and I am loving it. When I started in my position as a Salmon Habitat Restoration Specialist, I didn’t have a strong background in marine biology or related education. I expected to be conducting outreach, working on mapping projects for various salmon habitat projects. This position ended up being so much more, as I have been learning more about laws and policy regulations, the nitty gritty of habitat and ecological restoration, the work that goes into a natural resource damage assessment, and viewing behind the scenes of federal funding of projects that support fish passage. A lot of my work is in the office, but what restoration documentation goes across my desk typically ends up getting implemented out there, and restoration site visits have been the most rewarding of the whole experience.
I’ve made connections with my supervisor and other NOAA staff that are helping me learn new things that I previously didn’t consider, and most importantly, I am learning about myself. Even though I am only halfway through this internship, I am applying to natural resource positions with a new outlook of what I am capable of. This has been an opportunity that I could not get anywhere else.