Every summer, the Lloyd Center offers internships to students pursuing careers in either environmental education, research, or administration. Our education interns assist the education staff in teaching hands-on science programs and maintaining the Center’s many live exhibits, while our research interns conduct Lepidoptera Inventories, and assist with Piping Plover protection and monitoring. Administration interns work in the Support Services department, in the day-to-day workings of the Center.
Mid-way through the summer, the interns are asked to report on their experiences at the Lloyd Center to help shape future internship programs. With such overwhelming reports, we thought you would enjoy reading about a few of their experiences.
Education Intern Mira Atherton: My summer internship at the Lloyd Center has been a wonderful and educational experience. I arrived at the Center apprehensive about starting an internship in an unfamiliar location, but that feeling quickly dissipated when I realized how welcoming the Lloyd Center staff was. I also appreciate as education interns we are entrusted with teaching both school trips and summer programs, rather than being relegated to completing office tasks. Because we were given this responsibility, I feel much more capable to teach grade-school children, create lesson plans, and educate the public about coastal environments.
Education Intern Danielle M. Witter: My internship at the Lloyd Center has been nothing but rewarding. As an Elementary Education and Environmental Studies double major at school, working at the Lloyd Center was attractive to me because it touches upon both of my passions – teaching and nature. My experience here thus far has definitely exceeded my expectations. I did not realize how much responsibility I would be granted as one of the teachers of the Young Naturalist program. Having the chance to create my own lesson plans and decide what to do with the students each day I teach is something that many of my peers are not lucky enough to do. For many Education majors, their first time actually writing and implementing lessons is when they student teach, and internships for them often consist of them simply implementing lessons written by their supervisors. The Lloyd Center has definitely benefited me in the sense that it has placed enough trust in me to create my own lessons and has given me the chance to practice these vital skills for teaching. Since I started working here, I feel that my public speaking skills have been boosted, my level of confidence in front of children has skyrocketed, and I have learned so much about the topics that I teach. After all, each lesson requires personal research on top of activity planning. Long story short, this internship has been one of the best experiences of my professional life so far and I look forward to see what the rest of the summer holds.
Research Intern Meaghan Rafferty-Jones: My summer internship experience at the Lloyd Center has been very interesting and enjoyable. Before this summer, I had had very little experience with birds. Now having worked with a number of different birds, I can identify quite a few species. I really enjoyed monitoring the piping plovers which I had never seen before arriving in Dartmouth. They are so cute; I love to watch them running across the beach. I also enjoyed working with the terns, finding a few terrapin turtles, and holding an osprey chick was one of the coolest things I have ever done. Being able to work outside, walking the beaches and observing the marine environment was a real plus of this internship. I also liked meeting and hearing about the work of other Lloyd staff members at the meetings and being able to interact with the education staff and interns.
Research Intern Melissa Benjamin: This summer I worked as a Piping Plover Research Intern for the Lloyd Center. Our main purpose was protecting Piping Plovers, but we also worked with Least Terns, Diamondback Terrapins, and Osprey. Hundreds of hours on the beaches have left me with a new understanding of Piping Plovers, how management and conservation projects work, and how to interact with the public regarding an endangered species and critical conservation concerns. I’ve learned valuable skills and acquired experience in field research, public education, wildlife management, and conservation. The Lloyd Center staff was enjoyable to work with as well. I couldn’t have picked a better place to complete an internship this summer!
Photo (left to right): Front row: Stephanie Farland, Katie Mentzer, Melissa Benjamin. Back row: Mira Atherton, Andrew Farland, Danielle Witter, Meaghan Rafferty-Jones.
This story appeared in the New Bedford Standard Times – click here