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 18, 2014
Moving half way across the country to pursue my goals in the natural resources field was not easy, but Squam Lake has quickly become a home away from home. The new skills I have learned since being here will propel me into my future career. We have been trained with an array of different skills including trail maintenance, CPR/First Aid, lake hosting, and scuba diving. Scuba diving has been by far my favorite experience since working with the Squam Lakes Association. Diving is a whole new adventure by itself. Being able to experience the world beneath the surface of the water is incredible. Seeing the world through the eyes of a fish is amazing but also somewhat scary when you can barely see passed the hand in front of your face. While scuba diving we spend our time pulling variable milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) from Squam Lake. It is such a satisfying feeling to be making a positive impact on the environment. Not only are we reducing milfoil abundance through eradication but also through prevention. Last weekend was my first time being a Lake Host. As a Lake Host we post up at the public boat launch. There we spend the day checking boats coming in and out of Squam Lake looking for, and extending knowledge of aquatic invasive species. All but one of the boats I scanned were clean. The one boat that was not clean was transporting small fragments of variable milfoil. To say the least, I felt a little like an environmental superhero saving the lake from another potential infection of milfoil. I am so ecstatic to be working with SLA this summer and excited to see the improvements we make on the milfoil abundance as the summer moves on.