The Squam Conservation Internship provides skills and experience for future conservation professionals while working as the driving force behind the SLA’s conservation mission. This volunteer internship provides hands-on conservation work experience and certifications over a broad range of activities. Interns serve as campsite hosts and caretakers at our backcountry campsites, work toward the eradication of variable milfoil, help preserve loon populations on Squam, engage both youth and adults in environmental education, and perform other conservation duties such as shoreline restoration and trail maintenance and construction. Squam Conservation Interns also regularly write about their experiences in the Squam Watershed. Learn more about the internship program here.
August 1, 2016
Throughout the internship, we have done several things to help preserve this special place in New Hampshire. We’ve done all kinds of things to help keep the SLA running. I think my favorite part of this internship is all the work we do that gives immediate gratification, such as diving and removing a large patch of milfoil, or when you do trail work and finally see a trailhead re-directed or see the entrance to a trail cleared up.
It was pretty interesting camping at Bowman Island though. It was especially interesting seeing all the spiders that have spawned there. It’s really cool walking through the trails and then stopping, waiting for things to quiet down, and hearing all the little crawlers walking on the fallen leaves. I suppose that sometimes it seems like there are way too many, and it is a bit annoying to walk past the same spot twice within five or ten minutes and run into a spider web both times, but it is a real testament to the health of the island ecosystem. As far as I know, daddy longlegs aren’t invasive, so it’s ok that there are thousands around! They really are pretty hilarious to watch bounce around and bump into each other.
I really can’t believe that this is my last journal entry. Soon we will be parting ways and going home, but with a wealth of experience under our belts. It’s going to be real tough going back home. I’ll be done with school after this internship and compared to our schedule here at Squam, my new “school-less” schedule will seem like a pretty inactive one. No more 6:15am waking for diving, no more camping overnight while having to do work the next day. So, with the realization that we’re going to be leaving sooner than later, I am really enjoying these last few weeks I have left here. I am trying to take it in as much as possible and take advantage of every opportunity I get, such as a moon-rise hike (pictured). I recently went sailing with a friend who was visiting. I think I might just return to Squam to keep sailing in these now familiar waters. No motor, no sound, just the wind, the waves, the sail, and a few friends.
Gio is originally from Montevideo, Uruguay and currently resides in Chicago. He is an environmental studies student at Northeastern Illinois University, where he helped lead a conservation club on campus.