Moving past the halfway checkpoint of my internship almost doesn’t feel real! Now that I have become fully immersed in my research with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP), time is flying by. It is so great to be a part of a team that shares my passion for environmental stewardship.
One of the most important things I’ve learned so far is just how connected people feel to Haystack Rock. Its icon status and beauty are not lost on the public, even if they see or hear about it almost every day! Both residents and visitors come to appreciate the rocky intertidal zone and every animal that lives there. HRAP remains a part of facilitating that connection as well, and I’m excited to continue unpacking the different ways it’s done. By the end of my internship, I’m planning on having a clear view of how those connections can be strengthened.
The bulk of the field work I have been doing so far involves reaching out to businesses in Cannon Beach and administering a short survey. Through this, I’ve been able to strengthen my communication skills by explaining my project in a short amount of time. Calling during business hours means that most people only have a few minutes to spare. I have had to learn how to quickly explain my project and its importance in a way that motivates people to participate. As I finish up with business owners, I will be engaging with members of the government and residents next.
I am also about to start analyzing some of my data as field work is wrapping up using Statistical Product and Service Solutions, or SPSS for short. This will be my first time using this program, so I am excited to start learning the ins and outs. I’m always looking for new ways to expand my skill set, and this will be a great addition!
As I have spent the summer working remotely, I have come to realize the importance of having a schedule. Waking up at a certain time and scheduling in breaks to move around have become essential for a productive day. While I’m not the biggest fan waking up early, I always seem to be at my best in the morning. Funny enough, the opposite was true while I was an undergrad!
While our world continues to develop around the pressing health crisis, remote work and socially distant meetings are likely to be a part of our new normal. Over the course of the summer, I have been able to attend a whole bunch of webinars and networking events. This has definitely been a valuable addition to my time with Sea Grant. There are so many professionals who are open to having conversations about their work and post-grad journey. Hearing about their experiences and receiving advice is exactly the kind of thing I need to continue my career path. I am looking forward to maintaining these connections and someday becoming a mentor myself!