This is the end….

Wow! I can’t believe my time is up. These five months went by really fast!! I can honestly say I have learned a lot and gained a lot of experience that others can take years to gain. I am so thankful to everyone that made this internship possible, not only for myself but for all the other interns as well.

The training we had in San Diego was very informative and fun for all of us. We got to visit various locations that I can’t wait to go back myself and have more time to enjoy them. I have made several friends along the way that I know I’ll keep in contact with, and we help each other out in this new chapter in our lives.

This internship really let me see how it is to work with a non-profit and all the hard work that goes into it. Since I was placed in Los Angeles, and this was the first year EFTA had interns in the L.A area, we had to really get ourselves out there to make things happen. Having made connections with several elementary schools and other organizations will make it easier for future interns to get started.

I have gained skills in communications, research, and outreach that I know will help me stand out in the future.

I am so thankful to have worked along side Stacey Vigallon from L.A Audubon. She has been a mentor of mine since I graduated high school, and working with her during this internship helped me build a strong work relationship with her that I hope will result in future job opportunities.

I realized through this internship that research assignments were not for me but outreach and interpretive work was. I guess that’s what internships are for, to help you decided whether you want to work in that field or not.

As to what I am going to do now that this internship is over…
-Continue with school and get my B.S In Environmental Geography
-Continue working for CA State Parks and take the test to possibly obtain a Park Interpretive Specialist position here in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Northern California.
Oh, and start my own Vegan/Vegetarian E-cookbook!

This has been quiet the experience and I am truly grateful for everyone, including the readers for being part of all our journey!
Thank you!


Rainy Bird Walk…

Being from Southern California we rarely get any rain…especially because we have been in a drought for quite some time. When preparing for my bird walk I prepared by thinking to myself about how many people might attend, what to talk about, and which trail to take them on…ect., but I was NOT prepared for it to RAIN!!!!!

It hasn’t rained in MONTHS and, of course, the weather Gods would choose to make it rain during my walk. It freaked me out. In my mind I was like, “Oh no, the birds are not going to be out and these people are going to leave.” Good thing it only rained for a couple of minutes…enough to leave me wet! As we continued the hike, I talked about the plants, scenery, and what make the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook so special. We had the luck of seeing a gopher snake, a good amount of birds(once the sun came out), and we even enjoyed cracking some black walnuts from the trees here at the park (SHHHH…Don’t tell my boss). Which, by the way, black walnuts are delicious but it was too much work to crack open for a tiny little piece of walnut! Haha:)

Over all it went well. The couple that came was great and were super into the walk and gave me great feedback. I had a great time leading a little bird walk. Unfortunately because of scheduling I did it in the late afternoon, a morning walk would have have been better. But hey, I learned from it.

Natural History Museum

Last week we had the chance to get a behind-the-scenes-experience with the Ornithology department at the Natural History Museum, which is one of my FAVORITE museums here in Los Angeles. Every time I go, I HAVE to check out the their bird room, and I have always wondered if that’s all they had….well they don’t! They have thousands upon thousands of different birds from all over the world, it’s AMAZING!

We met up with Kimball L. Garrett, the Ornithology Director and he gave the grand tour of the department. He took us to their rooms that have THOUSANDS of different species of birds that have been found or taken in for science purposes and are now now curated and kept safely. Mr. Kimball was telling us that one of the biggest problems they have in this room is keeping beetles out. He even showed us the traps they us, and many of them had several beetles stuck to them.

We were also able to go into the room where the volunteers were dissecting the birds, cleaning them and stuffing them back together. It was VERY cold in there, and it had this smell that reminded me of that time in high school where I was forced to dissect a frog. Some of the volunteers had been there for 15+ years!!! Wow, talk about dedication. It was such a treat to be able to see to all the work that really goes on to be able to put a new bird out in display at the museum.

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What I have learned so far…

Wow, only one more month to go and this internship will come to an end. * Will my business cards still count?* hahaha. Having a week off in San Francisco I had sometime to reflect of the last few months, so I thought I would put together a little list of the main things I have learned, along with some tips for some of you who might be looking into applying for an internship or job.

  1. Organization is KEY!!!

Having an internship is just like having a JOB! You have different assignments and tasks to do, hours to keep track of, forms to fill, conference calls and meetings with your supervisors. Also, just like in a regular job you have to keep track of when everything is due, and if you are not organized (having a planner or a big calendar helps A LOT) you will loose track of certain things you had due or times.

  1. Learn how to properly introduce yourself to others.

Meeting someone, especially a person with a higher title can be intimidating, but practicing how to introduce yourself and learning what things to say will make a big difference in the first impression you make on that person. One thing I have learned is not to sell yourself short (in person or on paper, but don’t lie either). Be confident in your tone and with what you are saying but don’t be arrogant. You never know, the next person you meet might be your future boss.

  1. Explore the job market and what jobs might be available.

Being in an internship does not always guarantee you a permanent position once it is over. During the entirety of your employment you will constantly meet people who work for the organization or others outside of your work place. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have other intern opportunities available or actual job positions. If doesn’t hurt to ask and you don’t loose anything.

I know this wasn’t a long list but I hope It helps someone out there reading this. Till next time.

All About the Least Terns

Here is a recap for these last few weeks…

These past weeks have been all about the Least Terns. Monitoring is well on the way, and I just fall in love more and more with the Least Terns. I will admit the sound that the Royal Terns make scare me. Hahahaha. I was monitoring the other day and in unison a couple of them started to make their call, and I literally jumped! I don’t even think I can be that loud. How amazing is it that birds of that size can have such strong calls.

Oh yes, about two weeks ago Carlos and I had the chance to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. We were able to speak with one of the employees who is in charge of the shorebird exhibit. The exhibit wasn’t that big, but the small amount of shorebirds they had were very well taken care of. My favorite had to be Gigi the Black-necked Stilt…she was sooooo pretty!!! I wish we could have stayed longer and enjoyed the entire aquarium, but someone was in a hurry to leave…*ahem* Carlos…hahaha.

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Today is my last full day in San Francisco so I am going to enjoy it as much as I can. It has been nice to get away from Los Angeles and to take a break. I don’t know if I’m ready to leave here yet though; I’m really falling in love with the city! I randomly ended up in one of the protected Snowy Plover beach areas. It was awesome! …’Til next time guys.