This summer I’ve been met with an abundance of new experiences. Before this summer I’d never been on the Oregon coast or seen a tufted puffin. Although I’d been to tidepools before, I’m leaving this internship with a whole new world of knowledge about the species found there as well as the seabirds that live on Haystack Rock. My internship with Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) allowed me to spend my days thinking about how science communication could be used to increase awareness and action within marine conservation. While a lot of my time was spent reading literature on the topic and conducting research, I also gained so much from just speaking to people on the beach or around Cannon Beach. Before this internship, I didn’t think of myself as someone that could just spark a conversation with a stranger. Through this internship, I have been able to improve my communication skills and have grown considerably in my ability to casually relay scientific information.
Since I recently graduated from college I am currently looking for jobs and have a few job prospects in environmental consultant firms. I believe that the skills that I have developed during my internship will provide me with a strong foundation for starting my career and will benefit me further down the road when I choose to go to grad school.