Before my first day, I wrote out a list of expectations and what I knew about the Exotics and Restoration Crew. It looked something like this:
- The internship is for 10 weeks, 400 hours, and I will work four 10 hour days, four days a week
- The crew consists of multiple disciplines besides folks with a history background
- I will learn about the environment, especially about plants
- I will learn about the National Park culture
- I will learn valuable skills directly related to Cultural Resource Management, examples: field lingo, equipment, natural and cultural resources
- This experience will no doubt help shape and influence my career and future self
After my first week, I looked at the list and reflected on what expectations the internship met so far, questions I thought of throughout the week, and new understandings of what the crew expects from me this summer. The first week mostly consisted of meeting the seasonal staff in the Resource Stewardship Division, meeting members of my crew, planting and seeding an area of the waterline near Park Headquarters, and three solid days of trainings. From these experiences, my expectations and knowledge of the internship shifted:
- In past seasons, the crew consisted of an Exotics Crew (manual and herbicide treatment of invasive plants) and a Restoration Crew (planting, seeding, mulching – restoring areas). This year there will not be a distinction between the two and the crew will be known as the Vegetation Crew, Veg Crew for short
- Most of the crew members have a biology or ecology background. My fellow PLHC Intern Lizz Henke and I are the only ones with history backgrounds
- The key is to go with the flow and be flexible!
- How does this relate to history?
I look forward to immersing myself into the park’s culture, learning more about the goals of the division, and experiencing how the park executes those goals.