What does an internship mean?

By Josh Jackson

When I first applied for this internship I did not know if I would get the job or really what it would entail. Once I was accepted I got really excited because I just switched from education to environmental science so it was great to already start working towards a new career. To be honest, when I read the internship on paper, I thought that there would be more interaction with PCS and also some work inside of the river. My focus in environmental science is definitely ecology and freshwater systems so it is really exciting helping along a project that has to deal with the Ottawa River. Then when it came to the Olander work, the day that Todd Crail seined the ditch was awesome and all the plant identification is really great for future knowledge.

The whole point for me doing this internship was for me to get some experience in the field, see how PCS works and try to get more involved in the programs/events they are involved with, and get connections through PCS, University of Toledo, and Olander. Also, the internship is going towards eight credits hours during my senior year so that is also a plus! I have already learned so much such as plant identification, quartiles, plant assessment, fish seining, how to treat different invasive plants, the use of herbicide, and I am sure there is more that I am forgetting about. When I was in education I knew exactly what my job was going to be when I graduated and it was easy to get comfortable. Now with environmental science, I have no idea what I will be doing next year and it is a little nerve racking.

Even though I am not sure what I will be doing when I get out of school, this internship is giving me knowledge that I did not have before and also helping me get some connections so it has been worth every second. Also, I am doing work that is fulfilling and that is always something to achieve when in the workplace. I believe that what we are doing is truly going to help the Maumee AOC and hopefully lead way for other projects such as taking on some projects on Swan Creek! Also, now that I work at Bass Pro Shop I realized that Bass Pro Shops has done work with Partners for Clean Streams and I would like to get involved in that in some related way. I want to get as involved as I can during this internship so that way I can find out what exactly I want to do. I am grateful for the opportunity to be doing this work even though at times it may be hot or I get poison ivy every week. All of this is going to become one huge experience. Through the University I have to keep a journal log and write a research paper so I will always be able to recap what I have learned.

Editor note: This internship is one of 8 that PCS was able to offer this year with funding from our NOAA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant called the Maumee Corps. With our partners, Metroparks of Toledo and The Nature Conservancy, PCS secured funding for multiple positions ranging from these internships to full-time positions and seasonal field crews at our partner agencies. PCS chose to focus on providing opportunities for students or recent graduates to encourage more experience, and more exposure for students, in environmental careers in this area.