Intern Journal: Erin

The Squam Conservation Internship provides skills and experience for future conservation professionals while working as the driving force behind the SLA’s conservation mission.  This volunteer internship provides hands-on conservation work experience and certifications over a broad range of activities.  Interns serve as campsite hosts and caretakers at our backcountry campsites, work toward the eradication of variable milfoil, help preserve loon populations on Squam, engage both youth and adults in environmental education, and perform other conservation duties such as shoreline restoration and trail maintenance and construction. Squam Conservation Interns also regularly write about their experiences in the Squam Watershed. Learn more about the internship program here.

JUNE 9, 2016


This past week we took the wilderness first aid training class and had a really good time. We learned everything from how to splint a broken bone to recognizing a hiker in shock. Our instructor would come up with these crazy scenarios for some of the students to act out (some took their parts a little more seriously than others), and we had to figure out how to respond based off of what we had been taught. I think my favorite scenario was when nine people came running at the other dozen or so of us, all with “severed fingers”, interestingly which had all happened at the same time... This meant we got a lot of fake blood all over us, and practiced our tourniquets and how to calm a patient down who’s in shock.

I came to this internship really looking forward to all of the new skills I would be learning- scuba diving, trail maintenance, managing aquatic invasive species, getting wilderness first aid certified, along with many others. But I think I’ve had an even better time learning how much actually goes into being a conservation association. It involves being around people a lot, educating the public, working hard in the outdoors, as well as some very necessary desk work, among other things. It’s really easy for us as college students with our majors focusing so closely on one subject to develop tunnel vision. I’m a biology major, and I feel really passionately about the science behind everything we see when we’re out on the lake or out hiking, but often don’t really want to think about how policies to protect these things are in place or developed. We went to the New Hampshire Lakes Congress meeting last week and I was able to learn a lot about how some of the legislation is proposed and passed. Attending that meeting and being here at the Squam Lakes Association has made me realize how important it is to at least have a good understanding of all of the parts that play into conservation, and respect that all of them are extremely important.

Erin will be a senior at the University of Texas in Austin this fall. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is majoring in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology and is working to complete a certificate in Environment and Sustainability as well. 

Read more Intern Journal entries here.