This past summer I worked for the Roger Tory Peterson Institute as a Project Wild
America Crew Leader. This took place in Jamestown, New York, the birthplace of Roger Tory Peterson, an American Naturalist. I was one of two crew leaders that were responsible for managing and leading six high school students through various research projects. Our goal was to continue Roger’s legacy of studying the flora and fauna all around us. The projects we worked on included bird banding, invasive species mapping and management, macroinvertebrate surveys, vegetation surveys, a wetland delineation, and water quality surveys. We spent everyday, all day, outside, which led to some pretty wicked tan lines. It was hands-on experience; from taking the data ourselves to recording our findings, we were responsible for all the steps. We also participated in many public outreach events, ranging from radio shows to a whole festival dedicated to Project Wild America. I have learned many different research techniques and made numerous professional connections, both of which have helped me in my academic
career. Being immersed in what you are studying is the best way to learn and truly understand what you are doing and that ideal was the epitome of this internship.