My name is Josh and I, along with Amy, am a PROMISE Intern working with Oregon Sea Grant Extension here in Corvallis for the summer. A quick wrap up about me: I’m a Senior at OSU in Pre-Prarmacy with a minor in Chemistry, I most recently was the Co-Director of a student group on campus, and I’m going into OSU’s Team Liberation program at the end of the summer! I also love being an educator to all ages, and I’ve participated as a councilor at a local Outdoor school camp for sixth graders for the last five years. Okay! Now that that’s over and done with I guess I can get started on talking about my adventures with Sea Grant so far.
My first day was last Monday, which was entirely focused on PROMISE activities. We started off getting to know each other, this is where I met my fellow Sea Grant Intern Amy. Than we had a delicious lunch with our Advisers. Amy and I have three advisers: Megan Kleibacker, Samuel Chan, and Tania Siemens. During our first week, Megan was the only one in the office so, while I’ve met both Sam and Tania briefly, I’ve yet to have any extended conversation with them. After this was done, we were instructed to go the Challenge Course…I didn’t even know OSU had a challenge course. So imagine my surprise when I see a bunch of poles and guide wires 35 feet up in the air! After spending a good half hour (or at least it felt that long) getting strapped into our harnesses. We spent the next three hours climbing, crossing, and jumping around the course. Overall, it was a fun day and a great way to get introduced to the PROMISE program.
Tuesday was a simple introductory to the office setting, getting the equipment to run, learning to figure out the resources we have at our disposal etc. All this time I was still trying to figure out all that Sea Grant does. It all seemed a little intimidating to be honest. On Wednesday, however, I got to have a great experience that helped put Sea Grant into focus for me. Amy and I joined Jen, a professional Intern in the office, in going to a conference up in Vancouver, Washington. The conference focused on AIS (aquatic invasive species) for the Columbia River Basin. States that had representatives included Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho. Megan and Sam had assured me that it would be okay if I got overwhelmed, they just wanted me to go to soak up the information, not necessarily understand it. At first, this was the case, but after a representative of Idaho, Amy Ferriter, spoke it all seemed to snap into place and make sense. I walked away from that conference with a much greater understanding of what Sea Grant does, even though Aquatic Invasive Species is only one of the many projects that Sea Grant is involved in.
Our biggest project right now is easily the DaVinci Days booth. DaVinci Days is the local art and science festival in Corvallis, so things tend to get equally colorful and nerdy, so I’m always a fan! Since this year marks the 40th anniversary of Sea Grant, Amy and I have twice as much space to work with than past interns. This has been a great activity to work on so far, because it allows me do a lot more research on the difference aspects of Sea Grant. I’ve been discovering more and more that Sea Grant is involved in a lot more than I previously thought. From educating the public on boater safety to doing research on tsunamis. Lately, instead of asking myself, “What does Sea Grant do” I’m asking myself, “What doesn’t Sea Grant do”.
As I try and find answers to this question, I get more excited to be working with such a great organization for the summer, and I can’t wait for all of the adventures and activities in store for me!!!