This summer, I am interning with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on the Marine Reserves Program. I am working with the human dimensions team. My primary work duties will be looking at the visitor surveys that have been conducted in the past at the 5 Oregon Marine Reserves. After going over those reports, reading other relevant literature and the legislative history of the creation of the Marine Reserves, I will provide ODFW with a summary of my findings of the visitor surveys and connect it to the bigger picture of the program. Originally, my primary work duty would have been to conduct the last visitor survey of their report but because of COVID-19, that wasn’t possible anymore! I’m thankful ODFW Marine Reserves Program still kept me on and found work for me to do. Being a part of this internship also will help me network and meet people I’m not normally exposed to. For instance, I sit in on the weekly staff meetings and am able to converse with the whole team, even though I’m working primarily with the human dimensions team.
The project I’m working on will help ODFW submit their report to the Oregon legislature because the Marine Reserves will be evaluated in 2023. Those project goals help advance Oregon Sea Grant’s vision and mission because the Marine Reserve goals are about resiliency and sustainability for the coastal communities. ODFW’s mission statement is to “protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations.” It’ll be really interesting to see how visitor’s interceptions have changed over the years, or if it has at all.