Internship with NICHES

This summer I interned with NICHES Land Trust which was an amazing opportunity that taught me so much and allowed me numerous, unique experiences. NICHES protects land in west-central Indiana from development and restores woodlands and prairies for the public’s enjoyment. I have been volunteering with NICHES since fall of my freshman year and heard early-on about the potential to intern over the summer; I knew right-away it was something I wanted to do. A large part of my internship was spent learning about stewardship and working hands-on chemically and mechanically eradicating invasives, collecting and spreading native seeds, and transplanting plants such as trees and sedges to guide properties in the right direction. I was even able to be a part of great opportunities like hand pollinating orange fringed orchids, floating nearby creeks, co-leading an orchid hike, and helping at volunteer workdays. For three weeks, I helped run the NICHES kids summer camp where we explored properties, found neat animals, identified plants, and enjoyed the great outdoors. One of the most valuable things I learned while interning this summer was the immense amount of plant identification which would be hard to get anywhere else. My time with NICHES has shaped my future and affected my outlook on conservation by reinvigorating my passion for nature and solidifying my future plans to pursue a career in land conservation and ecological restoration. I strongly suggest taking advantage of internships early in your college career to better learn what field you want to enter and to gain work experience.  

-Zach

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