Today, as I am writing this, is the second to last day of my internship at the North and South Rivers Watershed Association and MassBays. What a surreal feeling. I don’t think I ever properly prepared for the ending of the season and what that meant, in many ways this summer, being filled with new adventures every week, is reminiscent of how summers as a kid felt, a never ending summer of fun where every day was a new experience.

Of those experiences, I most enjoyed the marine invasive surveys, specifically on docks. Truly there is no more alien a place than the underside of a dock, so I’ve learned. This summer I also found my first ever anemone, which as silly as it may sound, was kind of a lifelong dream, or at least since I first saw Finding Nemo as a kid. The invasive surveys gave me a deep and newfound love for colonial tunicates, they are truly wonderful creatures. Those two experiences specifically brought me a sense of childlike adventure and discovery that I haven’t felt in some time.

This summer also greatly increased my understanding of the policy aspect of environmental science. I have been so focused on the hard science, I have in many ways neglected the equally important policy side of environmental work. All the science is for naught if you have no way to implement your findings into law. That is the importance of watershed associations I have come to realize, to be the bridge between the scientists and local governments and communities.

Lastly, on the topic of watershed associations I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with, and I couldn’t have asked for a better co-intern. I don’t believe I had a single bad day in the office this year. The feeling of sadness over leaving, though, is mitigated in part by the knowledge that I will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be volunteering with the watershed when possible.

Thank you for the wonderful experience,