“In Their Own Words” is an ongoing series featuring the experiences of Middlebury students at their summer internships. This summer Luke Elder ‘13 interned with The Nature Conservancy in Martha’s Vineyard, MA.
What did you do?
I worked as a conservation intern for The Nature Conservancy, specifically doing land stewardship and management. We did invasive species control, native plant nursery work, vegetation monitoring, and were involved with a few studies that the TNC Island Office have been conducting for a few years.
What did you learn?
I learned a great deal about what it means to have a field job. My previous environmental or conservation work experience has only been composed of office research jobs, but working for TNC in the field truly showed me what is takes day to day to be a field biologist. For anyone interested in biology, botany, ecology, land conservation and management, I would recommend this internship without hesitation. The experience has taught me a lot about botany and plant work, something that I had never really been exposed to before. I realized that I think I have more of a passion for wildlife work (which I got a little exposure to through this internship as well). But regardless, getting the experience to help me navigate through figuring out what I like and what I don’t like has been so helpful.
Working for The Nature Conservancy has been a formative experience that has solidified my passion for conservation work. I plan to continue finding work in the field of conservation biology, and after my experience working for TNC I could easily see myself finding a job working for TNC in the future. I had an incredibly positive experience with the organization and have nothing but good things to say about what they do.
Think this experience sounded pretty cool? Check out opportunities like this and more on MOJO.