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.
July 2, 2017
I sit down to write this still damp from a day of milfoil removal via scuba diving. We pulled over 90 gallons of milfoil out of the lake today and I barely feel like we scratched the surface. But looking at the buckets of invasive species that would still be in the lake if it wasn’t for us, I can’t help but feel satisfied.
Today is a good metaphor for this internship as a whole. When I take it day by day it seems that we have accomplished many small things but when I think back on what we have done I am amazed at how much has occurred. I gained my scuba diving certification and have done over 10 open water dives to harvest variable milfoil. I helped create a new hiking trail with SLA volunteers that everyone will be able to enjoy. I participated in adaptive training with Eastern Adaptive Sports to help handicapped people participate in outdoor activities. The other interns and assist with water quality research to help the SLA better understand and protect Squam Lake. When these things were happening it was easy to forget the significance but looking back it is hard to underestimate their importance.
The rotating schedule for the interns started. We do different things every day like trail hosting, lake hosting, diving, trail work, and caretaking on the islands. With all these duties all of the interns are never in the house at the same time. The house quieter and less hectic. I miss the social aspect of having everyone in one place but it allows us to bond with each other. Overall it has been a great summer and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Jon is from Georgetown, Massachusetts. He is studying Wildlife and Fisheries Management at Unity College where he will be entering his senior year this coming fall. Click here to read his bio.