My internship began when the Russian River ferns were no more than six inches tall. I watched as these plants sprouted taller each week till eventually, they stood taller than me. Being only five two it doesn’t take much to be taller than me but even so, their growth was drastic! In three short months I also witnessed the growth of many other things: baby moose, water levels in the Kenai River, number of salmon fillets in my freezer, and most notably myself.

This summer I moved across the country to join KWF’s team as a Stream Watch intern. I couldn’t have been more excited to get started but still I was nervous to be living in an entirely new environment. As I met the KWF staff my concerns began to dissipate. I received the warmest of welcomes from each and every one of them. They made me feel at home and comfortable in my new surroundings. Throughout the entire summer I received endless support and plenty of guidance from them all. In this environment that they had created, I myself was able to grow in many aspects, except vertically. I gained the much-needed job experience specific to my field of study. My knowledge in conservation, public education, even invasives and hydrology were expanded upon in this time too. Most important to me was my growth in confidence and the formation of amazing new friendships. I truly loved every minute of my time in Alaska and I cannot thank KWF enough for the opportunities and memories.