Friday, October 9, 2015

Summer Internship Reaps Huge Rewards

by Stephen Theis
My experience at the Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District was fantastic. The staff here is very welcoming, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. Everyone also has a unique talent to offer in the field and I learned something new every day I was here.

I spent most of my time at Keller Golf Course maintaining the no-play areas, wetland buffers, prairie areas, and oak woodland remnants. I enjoyed this very much as it gave me the opportunity to observe these sites as they changed over the summer and the impact our work had on these areas. I believe that our work really helped to establish and improve these areas. I am happy for the amount of time I spent at these sites as it really allowed me to connect to the area and gave me a greater sense of involvement in the restoration project.

At the beginning of this internship I didn’t have a good grasp of native plant communities. I could not identify most plant species and didn’t know if they were native or invasive. As the internship progressed, my eyes began to open to the environment around me. I especially became aware of how common invasive plants are in the landscape. Now I am happy to say I recognize over one hundred plant species, and can appreciate the habitats that they prefer.

During this internship I was also given the opportunity to take tours and shadow many professionals in the office. This gave me an all-around view of watershed management and the projects that we are heading. From start to finish, I learned more during this internship than I have from any class I have taken. I am very thankful to have been able to finish up my biology degree in this way.

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