Farewell, Johnny!

Looking back on the last five months I am astounded at how quickly this internship has gone by. I still don’t think it has fully hit me that today was my last day, and that I will be leaving the beautiful state of Wyoming in a few days. I quickly fell in love with the Wind River Mountain Range, over which I watch the sun set from my back porch every night, and I have really enjoyed my position as a wildlife biology intern. I can honestly say that this internship has taught me the most and I have gained a lot of amazing experiences and skills. Through working with my BLM mentor and doing field work, I feel so much more directed in my career path than when I first started here. I will continue to pursue a career in Wildlife Biology, hopefully with the Federal government or a non-profit.

This internship has also helped me strengthened my data collection and plant and bird identification skills. It has been a challenging but rewarding experience to get to know a completely different ecosystem from what I have spent most of my undergraduate and professional career working in. The sagebrush steppe has very little in common with the tallgrass prairie! I am so glad I took the opportunity to come out to Wyoming, and I am thankful for the connections I have made here.
When I first moved here, it was so strange to be in a place that was so… unpopulated. The culture shock was real for a while, but I think I have really grown to like the small town fee. It has helped me to grow in independence and has made me more comfortable with solitude, something I was not in any way used to before moving out here.

I am especially thankful for my fellow interns, who have made it easier living out here because there is always someone to do things with. The other interns in my office and I have spent a lot of weekends together, hiking, cooking, and going to local concerts. I am happy to have made connections with them as well as the BLM employees in the field office – and lots of memories have been made! My field partner and I have an unknown plethora of field stories, driving down crazy roads, climbing up steep mountains – literally on all fours, and struggling with our GPS when it couldn’t find satellites.

As I end my internship, I look forward to what I have lined up next. In less than a week, I will be starting a new position in Kansas City as an Avian Biology Technician. I believe the work I have done this summer was integral in setting me apart as a candidate for my new position, and I will be taking the skills I have gained with me as I start my new position. I think going into my next job, it will be beneficial to be comfortable with a little isolation. In fact, I expect that being in Kansas City, around so many people and so much development, will be a little overwhelming.

I ended my internship today the same way I started it – hiking in a canyon area about 45 minutes outside of town named “Johnny Behind the Rocks”, looking for raptor nests and habitat, and still somehow having difficulty breathing on the steep inclines – I really should do more cardio! So today, I said my official goodbye to “Johnny” (referring to the waterfall in the canyon). It has been a great adventure, I leave you with a few photos from these last two weeks. Farewell friends!

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” 

-Rachel Carson


Me and two other interns on a day hiking trip to “Johnny”.

The One, The Only, Johnny Behind the Rocks. You know its isolating when you start making friends with waterfalls.

View of the Wind River Mountain Range from South Pass, Wyoming.

My field partner and I on one of our last field day hikes in JBR

On the way to a last visit to the Grand Tetons. Gonna miss being only a few hours away!!

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