17 October 2022

End of Internship Wrap-Up

Written by: Mireya Bejarano

Hello all, my name is Mireya Bejarano and this summer I’ve been completing my internship with the Ventura Fish and Wildlife office (VFWO). I’ve been able to accomplish so much during my time with the VFWO. I conducted literature reviews and worked with USFWS biologists to write species profiles, 4 of which have already been uploaded to the VFWO website. These include the Indian Knob mountainbalm, Ventura marsh milk-vetch, Ohlone tiger beetle, and the Nipomo Mesa lupine. As well as assisting with the writing and updating of more technical species documents used for biological opinions during consultations. In addition to writing, I got to work with BeachCOMBERS data. Prior to this internship, I had never used Microsoft Access, but thanks to this internship I learned and became well acquainted with MS Access. I also got a chance to improve my R skills by developing a new workflow for updating the BeachCOMBERS database.

Aside from my core duties of species writings and working with the BeachCOMBERs data, I was also able to improve on my oral communication skills when I presented the BeachCOMBERs program with the other HAF intern during a presentation given at CSU Channel Islands. Explaining what the program is, the methods of data collection as well as why citizen science programs like BeachCOMBERs is so important. Through this internship I was able to take an online course on planning for climate change, where I learned how to implement climate information into conservation and management plans. I got to learn about scenario planning and conducting vulnerability assessments. I’m glad I took this course as I know I will definitely use the tools I learned as California continues to get hotter and drier.

My favorite aspect of this internship was all the field opportunities I was able to attend. I got to see many different species out in the wild. I saw Gaviota tarplant, California Condors, Tidewater goby, and Southern Sea otters, all of which are either endangered or threatened. I learned about these species and how they became endangered in my conservation classes in college but seeing them out in the wild was a different experience. Seeing the Tidewater goby flicking in the water, the California Condors soaring overhead and seeing a mother sea otter with her pup made me thankful of the people who have dedicated their careers to ensure that these species continue to exist. And thankful that through this internship I was able to meet and work with those people who have dedicated their careers to conserving and protecting these species. Meeting with others who share the same passion for wildlife has cemented my desire to continue working within wildlife conservation. I had a really great internship experience, and I am very thankful to the Mano project and the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office.

Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Program: US Fish & Wildlife Service

Location: Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office

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