01 April 2024

Developing myself further on wildfires and learning about the importance of the Forest Service in conservation projects of Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

More than two months after starting this internship with the Forest Service, I have learned a lot about the issue of wildfires in Puerto Rico. Over the past month, I have begun a literature review on this very important topic. This helped me become more interested in wildfires and to be able to use various sources to search for information. Likewise, this has allowed me to begin organizing the educational material that I will be working on during the internship.

It is during this process where I am provided with the opportunity to give my first presentation about the wildfires in Puerto Rico. This experience was very satisfying because I was able to meet with coworkers to outline the most important points to discuss in the presentation and to share information about the literature that I had already found during the process. This presentation was made at a meeting of the Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership which aims to conserve and restore important landscapes, where the Forest Service has a crucial participation in providing funds for the different projects. Likewise, this allowed me to learn about the different organizations and projects that are involved in the well-being of environmental resources in Puerto Rico, mainly forests. On the other hand, it was my first presentation on the topic of wildfires where I was able to speak and receive recommendations from the participants who attended, mainly the input of the Puerto Rico fire department.

During this month I also had the opportunity to participate in different activities such as the International Day of Forests at El Portal de El Yunque. It was a great learning activity, due to the large number of organizations that participated for its success. I also had the opportunity to learn about the work they are doing for the well-being of the natural ecosystems in Puerto Rico. Participating in this activity is also highly relevant to share with other Natural Resources Specialists from other units to learn about their experiences around the internship.

These different meetings and activities have allowed me to continue connecting with the different collaborators who are involved in the conservation of Puerto Rico's forests. Additionally, these experiences have allowed me to continue expanding my knowledge in other topics where I have a lot of interest, which has been very beneficial as I continue working on my wildfires project. On the other hand, this time that I have been working in the forest service and through the different activities, has given me the space to get to know more about the colleagues in the unit where I am. I find that this has been very satisfactory, because I have been able to learn more about their roles in the different projects that are involved.



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