L to R: Bryce Lacombe, Taylor Czybora, Grace Berthiaume

Intern Reflections

2022 Intern Reflections by Bryce Lacombe

I can’t believe the summer has already flown by. The experiences that I’ve had for the last three months will have lasting impacts in my life as I move on from this internship. I was lucky enough to work closely with some amazing people. Everyone at the office is warm and welcoming. It feels like a family every time we get together, whether it’s for a Monday morning meeting or a lunch at the Rivershed. It’s nice to wake up and feel genuinely excited to come to work everyday. Not only were the people amazing, but the projects I was able to participate in laid a perfect foundation for my future.

The opportunities for experience that were given to me felt nearly endless. I was able to work with volunteers, and see how hard it is to run a non-profit. I got to be out in the field almost everyday of the week. While in the field I had the opportunity to install loggers in different towns, monitor invasive species on the beach and at docks, capture and raise beetles (which was harder than it sounds) and many more. The NSRWA even paid for me to go to a conference in Salem, so that I could network with professionals and learn more about the field and current science. The variety of work offered is amazing and unmatched. I couldn’t have imagined a better all around experience if I tried.

My favorite part of the summer was the Great River Race. All the hard work that everyone put in paid off in a huge way and it was awesome. Being able to witness all the boats floating down the river, and knowing that you helped put some of the event together was a truly amazing experience. It was also great to talk to the participants, and make connections with people who care about our watershed. That day has been ingrained in my memory (all 10 hours of it).

I want to end by giving a big thank you to everyone at the NSRWA for taking me on this summer. I didn’t know what to expect when I first walked into the office at the beginning of June. I had no idea that this internship would be the most fantastic job I’ve ever had. Again, all of the people I had the pleasure to work with, my fellow interns Grace and Taylor (who were awesome), Sara, Sam, Terri, Lori, Brian, and Gab, thank you for making this summer special.

Taylor Czybora Intern Reflections

As I start to think about my end of the summer reflections, I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. Working at the watershed has been a better experience than I could have ever hoped for. From the people I have worked with and met, to all the projects I was fortunate to have a hand in, I have gained so many skills that I know I will take with me throughout my life. This experience has only solidified my love for the environment, our oceans and helping to watch and mitigate the changes made my humans. Through working in the South Shore, I have gained so much knowledge of the environment in this area and it has prompted me to want to stay around this area for work.

Through being the eelgrass intern, I have learned how much work goes into overseeing a project. A lot goes into the process and planning of the blitz from coordinating schedules of volunteers and boat captains, to working with all the technology and data. As the 2022 Eelgrass Survey Blitz comes to an end, I am feeling incredibly accomplished and proud of myself, and everyone involved. It feels so great to be involved in an organization that gets its citizens interested in protecting and enjoying the environment. I also love that this type of work entails working closely with members of the surrounding communities and building relationships. Watching volunteers have fun and fall in love with the work we do, is such a humbling feeling.

I absolutely love field work, so of course I had an absolute blast every single time we went out into the field. Whether we were surveying invasive species in tide pools and on docks or trudging through mud and water to retrieve water health information, I could not have asked for a better way to spend my time. This experience has only furthered my love for this type of work, and I have gained such useful insight to what it is like to work for/run a nonprofit organization.

This past summer working at the North and South Rivers Watershed Association has been one for the books! I have loved every minute of working with a dedicated group of individuals that share the love of helping keep our environment healthy and safe for all to enjoy. This internship has been a critical part of my knowledge growth as I have gotten to utilize my past experience and skills while combining it with new knowledge that I have learned through the NSRWA. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else and this experience has only further confirmed my passions for the environment and oceans!

Intern Reflections by Grace Berthiaume

As my internship with the NSRWA comes to an end, I have the opportunity to reflect on the many memorable experiences I have had this summer.

When I first joined the NSRWA and began working with Dr. Sara Grady, I was amazed by the number and breadth of projects that are undertaken throughout the summer. These undertakings included raising (and releasing) Galerucella beetles to control the invasive species purple loosestrife, completing background assessment work on a mussel restoration project, and conducting water quality monitoring programs, along with facilitating a variety of citizen science programs aimed at gaining more data on our local ecosystems. I am proud to have contributed to and participated in some of these projects in our watershed.

One of my favorite parts of the internship was exploring the intertidal, riverine and coastal zones through our programs involving assessment of species in these areas, such as horseshoe crab and invasive species monitoring. I enjoyed learning more about the community of organisms living on our coast by observing them in their natural habitat. The most memorable occasion was snorkeling in the South River searching for blue mussels. Learning to identify the various species in the area and understanding more about the species interactions that make up coastal and estuarine ecosystems was a unique and rewarding experience.

I was most surprised to learn about the non-ecology work in the association. As an intern, I had the opportunity to be involved with some of the event planning and community engagement work done in the NSRWA. This opened my eyes into the background work that is involved in running a non-profit. Additionally, I was interested to learn about the relationships that the NSRWA has with towns within the watershed and the collaboration on programs aimed at improving the health of the community and protecting the environment, such as reducing stormwater pollution and encouraging cleanup of pet waste. It is truly rewarding to work for an organization that influences the community in such a positive way.

As I leave this experience and head into my final year of school, I have a new perspective on the work that is important for both ecosystem management and community engagement. I have gained confidence in working in the field, developed my problem solving skills, and improved my abilities in data entry and analysis. Most importantly, I better understand that making a meaningful difference in the community and the environment goes beyond science, and that getting people connected to the places you want to protect is equally important. I am grateful to the NSRWA staff and volunteers for a fun and educational summer!

Reflections on Past Internships

Intern Reflections By Lee
2021 Intern Reflections By Olivia Freud
Reflections on My Summer with NSRWA by Drew Martin
Reflections by Andrew Staley, 2018 Summer Intern
2017 Summer Interns Provide Invaluable Help to NSRWA
Meet Our Winter Intern Tess Walter
Summer Interns Provide Invaluable Resources to NSRWA
Nicole Gallup’s Internship Overview
Natalie Pitman Internship Overview

“My internship taught me that a huge part working in the environmental field is talking to people, making connections and educating the public… I couldn’t think of a better way of spending my summer this year. I am so thankful for getting these real-world experiences and gaining so much knowledge along the way.” ~ Kate McCarthy, NSRWA intern

Interns conducting eelgrass surveys on Duxbury Bay.