My Experience With The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; A Girls Inc. Perspective

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Today we hear from Girls Inc. intern Marie Gonzalez. In her second blog post of her month long internship, she reflects on her experiences of being introduced to a variety of Service programs and activities.

Field trip to Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, Fort River Division for both the girls and myself. Photo Credit: Marie Gonzalez

Field trip to Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, Fort River Division for both the girls and myself. Photo Credit: Marie Gonzalez

I am in my third year of the Girls Inc. five-year Eureka! program. This year I was placed as an intern with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Hadley, Massachusetts. I am a young Latina female, still in high school, and it may seem odd to see me spending my summer at an internship with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This experience has given me a wider knowledge of the different types of professions that I can look into. Who knew you could help fish and wildlife for a real-world job?

I am glad with the variety of things I learned as an intern. I did not originally choose my placement but now I know it was right for me because I enjoy doing new things and nature itself.

On my first day I was welcomed into the Regional Office and provided with careful instructions. I could say I was nervous but I was willing to not let that stop me from opening new doors to my future. The skills that I found out I had working here, I know I can use in the future.

There have been moments where I have needed assistance, but asking a question helped my understanding.

Gladly I joined in on fishing with the group and catching trout. It was interesting to see young girls stand around a pond and smile as they caught fish, maybe even for the first time.

Gladly I joined in on fishing with the group and catching trout. It was interesting to see young girls stand around a pond and smile as they caught fish, maybe even for the first time.

I have never been fond of photography, but that is one of the skills I learned and will carry on with me. As the rookies (first year girls) of the Eureka! program learned on their trip to the Fort River Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge I trailed along with them to review and write about their experience outdoors.

Personally I enjoy writing, and coincidentally I worked with public affairs specialist Margie Brenner, who gave me an opportunity to use my known skill and apply it to real-life situations. I also gained helpful tips from blog manager Meagan Racey which allowed me to better write my first public blog.

My experience has been quite unique. I have never worked with conserving the outdoors. One of the days I was with the Service I worked at Richard Cronin aquatic resources office setting boards near the water to control water level. It was a mini ecological engineering project. It was lively to get muddy and put on heavy waders as spiders crawled all over. I am familiar with keeping our human environment protected, but I am glad to have been given the opportunity to work with nature.

The green team in the Regional Office is a constant brainstorming group trying its best to better the surroundings of the building to make it as pleasant as possible and environment-friendly. I helped place “Remember…these come from trees” stickers on appliances that use paper to reduce the amount of paper-waste. After, I wrote the upcoming month of August Green Team message.

I am thankful to those who got me around and willingly gave time to help out. I will carry along with me my experiences at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of all sorts, hoping to use the skills I have gained in the future.

Read Marie’s first blog post about the Girls Inc. experience.

Learn more about Girls Inc. Holyoke