days at the beach — but mostly the office

Throughout the last two weeks, my project has begun to take on a more definitive shape. I am learning that through trial and error, more ideas have come and more ideas have been pivoted, but ultimately these pivots have provided me with a more streamlined point of focus. During my first week, I had a very broad idea of what I would be doing, and over the past weeks I have been actively working with The Friends of Haystack Rock, a graduate student from OSU, and with my primary host, The Haystack Rock Awareness Program. While they all have different pieces of the puzzle that is my project, ultimately, they all have the general basis of strengthening science communication efforts to maximize engagement and interest in marine life and health.  

My routine at first was pretty monotonous during the first weeks because I was reading paper after paper about science communication and marine conservation. As we wrap up week 4, my days and weeks have been looking differently. Some days I’m on the beach talking to the visitors of Haystack Rock, or I’m helping out with an event like the Puffin Watch that was broadcasted on Facebook Live. Some days I spend the entirety of the day inside the office reading and writing about my project. As far as meetings go, I have a weekly check-in on Wednesday with my supervisor and working meetings throughout the week with the graduate student and Friends of Haystack Rock. This week I will be sharing my progress at a board meeting and doing some collaboration with the communications coordinator at  HRAP for some ideas I’ve come up with. What I’ve been really enjoying about this internship is the flexibility and immense opportunity in engaging in activities outside of my project. I saw the opportunity to assist on a field trip for Spanish speakers and decided to take it on! While it might not entirely align with my project, I believe this will provide me with an incredible opportunity. One of my favorite on-the-job activities currently is when I’m out by the tidepools and seeing what’s different for the day. Sometimes I look for the biggest Giant Green Anemone and sometimes I try to see how many puffins I can see flying over me. Somehow inventory of these things makes me feel more tied to my project and gives me perspective on what the overarching goal is. This is really important when you are balancing multiple small projects at the same time. 

lemon nudibranch

The supervisor at HRAP, Kelli Enis, has been incredibly supportive and has provided me with multiple opportunities to connect with others in fields that I am interested in. This past week we drove down to Newport and met up with a few people from the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Service. This meeting gave me incredible insight as to what I should be doing and what I should look for moving forward with my career. 

To stay motivated and energized after the afternoon slump I like to walk down to one of the local coffee shops and try a different drink. Different in my own definition just means choosing an iced americano with oat milk as opposed to a cold brew with oat milk. Still a fun activity nonetheless! Another fun activity is watching the puffins and the dogs at the beach. As of this morning, I have a newfound appreciation for watching puffins flying off cliffs. They look like they’re jumping off into the sea, but just as you think they won’t swim, they catch the wind and start flying.  Overall, my day in life as a summer scholar at Haystack Rock Awareness looks really fun! Even when I’m reading or writing for most of the day.

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