Not only is my spirit refreshed by going to work everyday, but I also know that I am helping shape younger generation's mindset about the great outdoors and our planet. As the Urban Outreach Intern, I help direct and develop programs for urban youth, in which they learn first hand and in an interactive way, how ecosystems work, what animals live there, and more.
For the first few weeks I have been assisting FWS and Friends of Outer Island and helping guide lessons and activities for fourth grade students from the New Haven area. The students and their teachers meet me at the dock where we take a large ferry to the island. Many of the students have never been on a boat before, so it's a very exciting experience for them; seeing the water and feeling the boat move to the tides really impacts them. Once on the island the students learn about the history of the island and some of the plant and animal life that lives on the island while on a walking tour. They also learn about geology, including some types of the rocks that make up the island and how large storms and waves can cause massive weathering and erosion. The students also learn about the endangered birds that rely on the refuge for breeding and raising their young. For an activity that coincides with the birds, we have the students learn how terns make their nests and how a large storm could effect their young.
Assisting students in the learning process and watching as their curiosity of nature grows is an amazing opportunity and am so honored to be a part of their experience. My supervisors are incredible and allow me to express my creativity through my lessons and events, giving me support when and where I need it. Everyday is something new, new students, new opportunities, and new connections. I look forward to what the rest of the summer will bring as I continue to engage with the community, plan events and learn new things!