(Left to Right) Summer interns Kaitlin Morel, Rowan Lowell and Callie Neaves on the NSRWA pontoon boat.

Alas, summer is over (sigh) and that means our interns have headed back to college. Kaitlin Morel, Rowan Lowell and Callie Neaves provided invaluable assistance to the NSRWA team this summer in everything from database management to scientific research. They all went above and beyond their 9-5 duties, Rowan even participated in some of the midnight horseshoe crab counts. From teaching kids on the Battelle sponsored Ecology Boat Tours to Riverwatch water sampling, they all had a wide variety of experiences in environmental science. Thank you Kaitlin, Rowan and Callie for all of your help! We are going to miss you!

Reflections by Kaitlin Morel

This past summer I was given the opportunity to intern with the North and South Rivers Watershed Association. Working with Dr. Sara Grady and my fellow interns Callie Neaves and Rowan Lowell, along with the rest of NSRWA’s fabulous staff, has given me a fun and well-rounded experience of an environmental non-profit organization.

I have been exposed to many great projects; assisting with herring count data, horseshoe crab surveys, water quality monitoring, marine invasive surveys, and vegetation monitoring (to name a few). I am glad to have experienced the numerous steps of scientific research, from conceptualizing projects and setting up parameters to retrieving field data and entering it for analysis. Seeing these projects throughout the season has taught me how important it is to be flexible and adaptable to ever changing field conditions. The ability to participate in such a variety of project types has helped me to discover what areas of environmental science interest me to pursue in the future.

I also really enjoyed seeing how involved the public is with the organization; working with citizen scientists to collect data, helping to extend public outreach at the Marshfield Farmers’ Market, and working with kids through the co-sponsored NSRWA and YMCA’s River Adventures Camp and the Battelle sponsored Ecology Boat Tours.  Being able to participate in public outreach and education was a fun and fulfilling part of my summer as I could spread my love for our local environment with others who love it too.

The all-around experience of working with NSRWA and witnessing the operation of an environmental non-profit organization opened my eyes to the hard work and commitment it takes from amazing people to protect our environment. Working with the NSRWA staff and my fellow interns has been an incredible experience and certainly will make this summer memorable.

Summer Internship Overview by Callie Neaves

Working with the North and South Rivers Watershed Association for the summer of 2016 has given me valuable experience in scientific field work and research, as well as public outreach and environmental education.  We worked on many different projects throughout the summer including marine invasive surveys, water quality sampling, monitoring of dam removal sites, and horseshoe crab surveys.  These projects not only strengthened my knowledge of biology and environmental science, but also allowed me to discover many beautiful natural areas of the South Shore that I didn’t even know existed.  Working in the field also taught me the importance of being adaptable and adjusting to changing conditions, as everything does not always go according to plan.

Through this internship, I also learned plenty about interacting with the public and educating people about environmental issues. I especially enjoyed working on the Battelle sponsored Ecology Boat Tours, teaching kids about the threats to the rivers and the importance of protecting these vital areas. It was also great working with all the volunteers on projects such as Riverwatch and the horseshoe crab surveys, and seeing how many people genuinely care about keeping our rivers healthy.

Every day at NSRWA offered new experiences and learning opportunities. I am so happy to have had the chance to work with my fellow interns Rowan and Kaitlin, as well as Sara, Lori, Sam, and Gabriela.  I’ve learned so much over the past two and a half months, and I know the knowledge I gained through working with the NSRWA will help me in future job positions. Thank you for a great summer!