My name is Phoenix A. McFarlane and I am a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar who is going to spend the summer right alongside Oregon SeaGrant’s Summer Scholars! I am a junior at the University of Idaho and am majoring in Environmental Science. Though I thoroughly enjoy the outdoor recreation and wilderness aspects of Idaho, I was ready for a change! Spending the summer on the Oregon Coast is going to be an unforgettable adventure!!!
For my summer internship, I am working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) within their Marine Reserves division. My summer will be spent conducting visitor surveys in hopes of assessing awareness of Oregon’s marine reserves amongst the visitor population. Also, I will be surveying coastal businesses and determining if they have faced any socioeconomic impacts from the implementation of the marine reserves. Though my summer will mostly consist of interactions amongst the public, I will also be tasked with the responsibilities of data entry and interpretation. So far I am realizing that it sounds easier said than done! However, I have no doubt I will overcome the obstacles and develop new skills that will help me in my future as a scientist.
Overall, the exploring I have accomplished up to this point has been a much needed change of scenery. Slowly in the process of getting familiar with the coastal species and their common names. I am so grateful for this opportunity and the connections I am making! Shoutout to my roomies Grace Roa and Lisette Perez for making this summer experience that much more meaningful!
More adventures to come!