Our very own undergraduate student and Highstead Ecology Intern, Danielle Weiss, shares her thoughts on the value of internships and conservation research. In her own words, she says:
As a Highstead ecology intern, my day typically lasts from 9 am to 5 pm, and I start by going out into the field with [Senior Ecologist] Ed Faison, or just myself around 9:15, once I have everything packed and ready to go. Each day the goal is to go to two of the plots here at Highstead and identify every tree, shrub, seedling, and herb. To do this, I have to set up measuring tapes around the entire plot border and then set up two cross-sections. Within the plot, the goal is to identify all of the species and measure the tree’s diameter, come up with a percent coverage for the shrubs, seedlings, and herbs, and measure any woody debris on the diagonal cross-sections of the plot. After being out in the field, I come back to the barn and enter data. When I have some extra time I like to update the species identification list I created to help me out when I survey alone.