Internship ExperienceBy: Andrew Ferreira
As a biological intern, the great majority of my duties were to assist the staff and volunteers in wildlife habitat restoration and wildlife monitoring. Wildlife habitat restoration typically consisted of removing exotic, invasive plants from various habitats and removing trees from bog sites in order to sustain bog turtle habitat. Wildlife monitoring included, but was not limited to: surveying, radio tracking, and protecting nest sites of bog turtles, wood turtles, and box turtles; monitoring blue bird boxes; banding Canada geese, ducks, and mourning doves; assisting with frog-call, bat, and white-tailed deer surveys; electro-fishing for survey purposes; and collecting metamorphosed frogs for federal research. Additionally, I publicly presented a lecture on how to identify the amphibians of the Great Swamp at the new Helen C Fenske Visitor Center. When volunteers were in short supply, I contributed to various maintenance projects throughout the refuge.
Working with threatened and endangered turtles proved to be the most exciting and valuable work for me. Conservation and monitoring of wood turtles and bog turtles gave me a great sense of accomplishment. Additionally, helping other interns on their projects and assisting volunteers with miscellaneous tasks served to round out the experience and made an even better learning experience. I had a great experience at Great Swamp, and I am glad I was given the chance to work here!
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Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is located only 26 miles west of New York City’s Times Square. It is a 12-square-mile natural oasis in an area that is mostly suburban, making the refuge an outstanding area for migrating waterfowl to stop, rest and feed on their migration.