The Nature Conservancy - Northampton, Ma
Major: Environmental Studies
My experience as an intern with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) was wonderful and one that was full of hands-on learning that really showed the many details and considerations that go into the scientific process. In the first week, I spent some time working with researchers from UMASS, Amherst, catching Brook, Brown, and Rainbow trout in Whately, MA which were tagged and later sampled for DNA analysis. This was very interesting as I learned about the habitat of these fish and the effects of obstacles such as culverts on their populations.
Throughout the rest of the summer I worked with Christian Marks, The Nature Conservancy’s floodplain ecologist who focuses his research in the Connecticut River Watershed. Data was collected throughout New England in areas of Vermont and New Hampshire I had never visited before. We canoed down incredible rivers lined with Cardinal Flowers and collected data with the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire in the background. Spending many days outside in the field was in one sense challenging as I quickly learned of the true power of the elements, but was also very rewarding as I witnessed amazing plants and animals I had never seen before such as six foot tall Jack-in-the-Pulpit (they’re usually around one to two feet!) and the endangered Green Tiger Beetle.
This internship is a wonderful experience for anyone who wants a diverse hands-on approach to field research and exposure to environments little explored and in need of our admiration and commitment to conserving.