Hello, my name is Travis Hedrick. I am a senior at The Evergreen State College (TESC) in Olympia, Washington, and an intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). I just started this full-time internship and I’ve already taken part in a few adventures including salmon snorkel surveys on the Big Quilcene River! Other future learning opportunities will include fish hatchery support, estuary sampling and stream electrofishing. All of these experiences will prove to be beneficial as I move toward completing my bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from TESC. I have learned much from the college in the fields of environmental studies and biology but nothing rivals the real-world experience I will gain from this internship.
My internship with the USFWS also includes a youth education component. I am looking forward to applying the knowledge I have obtained from both my classroom and field experiences as I lead learning activities covering fish anatomy (fish dissections), river morphology, and salmon life history. As I lead these activities I will strengthen my ability to articulate biological concepts to the public as well as reinforce my existing understanding of them. This program is also a great way to connect youth with nature and to promote interest in the conservation process. I am excited to have the opportunity to give back to my community as well as inspire future advocates and enthusiasts.
I am confident this internship will help me gain a better understanding of the inner workings of fisheries biology and ecology work. This internship will also help me forward my education goals, strengthen my interpersonal skills, and diversify my as work place experience. All of which will prove to be essential as I begin my transition from student to professional.
I never would have guessed that I would be earning college credits while swimming with local trout and salmon populations!