Reflecting on the past six months is something that has been on my mind a lot as my internship comes to an end. In June I moved to West Virginia, a state I had only previously driven through, full of excitement to be living in the mountains but reservations as to what it would be like living and working in a new place with people I had never met.
Any worries I had soon disappeared as I was lucky enough to be based out of the Marlinton Ranger Station, the best office on the MON. My mentor worked to get my co-intern and I to experience many different types of work that occurs on the forest. I got to assist with rare plant monitoring, botany and Non-native Invasive Species (NNIS) surveys, stream surveys, and seed collection to name a few of the opportunities! These experiences took me to every corner of the forest and allowed me to work with individuals from other organizations and from other parts of the Forest Service.
My time outside of the office was filled with adventures around the forest with my coworkers and good friends. From floating the river to blueberry picking to caving to sitting around a fire and stargazing, there was never a dull moment!
As I prepare to move on to my next adventure I will treasure the experiences I have had, knowledge I have gained and the friends I have made down on the Monongahela National Forest where the country roads are my home.
USFS-Marlinton Ranger Station