Intern Journal: Steve

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.

July 20, 2017


After a hectic week of diving to pull milfoil, I find myself sitting aboard Millie at Bennet Cove with no impending tasks. I am left with only the surroundings and my thoughts to entertain myself for the next hour and a half, as I tend for SLA’s Weed Watcher program. The Weed Watchers are a group of volunteers who patrol areas of the Squam in search of milfoil. If milfoil is found, we the interns will likely be the ones returning to pull it. As I sit on Millie absorbed in my thoughts, I seemed to morph into the surroundings, and the wildlife began to emerge. Three ducks popped up from the brush and stopped at the water’s edge, hesitant to get in. They groomed their plumage for 10 minutes, before slipping into the water. I suspect this behavior may be intended to conserve heat. I was also amused by observing a small bird terrorize two hawks. As we prepared to leave, a Great Blue Heron buzzed by us. Moments like this invigorate me to continue the conservation efforts or which I am a part. I will return to Bennet Cove Inlet Monday with Dom, Becca, and Tamara. We will annihilate the milfoil.

Steve is a rising junior at Virginia Tech where he studies Fish and Wildlife Conservation. Read his full bio here.