The Squam Conservation Internship gives future conservation leaders the skills and experience needed to effectively move onto the next professional level while at the same time helping the Squam Lakes Association with our conservation mission. This unpaid 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, help with the eradication of variable milfoil, perform water quality testing and monitoring, help with public education and outreach projects, perform conservation duties such as shoreline restoration and trail maintenance and construction, meet and greet lake users and educate them about the dangers of invasive species. Squam Conservation Interns also regularly write about their experiences in the Squam Watershed.
JUNE 6, 2014
Uncertainties and anxieties barraged my mind as I pulled into the Squam Lakes Association on the first day of the internship. Had I forgotten anything on the packing list? Was I capable of completing the demanding tasks outlined by Brett and Rebecca in the internship description? What if I couldn’t complete the certification requirements? After just finishing my freshmen year of college, was I really prepared for a three month internship? Are the other interns as anxious as I am about the upcoming summer? My nerves were getting the best of me to say the least. However, as I sit here reflecting back on the first two weeks spent as an SLA intern, it is now safe to say that all of my previous anxieties have been assuaged. The experiences created for us by the staff at SLA have been inspiring and essential for any young adult hoping to pursue a career in conservation. I know that it will be an invaluable experience to spend the rest of the summer absorbing the knowledge and professionalism offered by not only Brett and Rebecca, but also the rest of the staff at SLA. In addition, my ambitions to continue studying towards a degree in fishery biology have been solidified by interactions and conversations with Erik and Jake, two of the older interns who are further along in their studies of other fisheries related majors. Needless to say it has been amazing getting to know the other interns as well. The magnificence and beauty of Squam Lakes has brought us closer together than I could have ever imagined. Now that we are all certified divers, milfoil removers, commercial boat divers, first aid responders, and response-able interns (a “clever” phrase coined by Brett) I cannot wait to spend the remainder of the summer here on Squam.