This month was made up of two long weeks of training and development, finishing up a major project in the education department, and completing my hunter education course. I am grateful that I have been given such a wide range of opportunities with this internship. I look forward to using these new skills and experiences to develop material and content in the upcoming months.
I'm helping with the National Archery in School Program and was in charge of making sure all students who participated in this tournament received the correct prizes and certificates. It was no small task and I have been in contact with the coaches for the full month of April. It felt so nice to finally get all the awards out to the students and stay in contact with the coaches if they had any follow up questions. I still need to mail out some coach pins and thank you notes but after that the project should be completely over and I will move on to another project within the education department at CPW.
As for the interpretation side, I had the opportunity to become certified as an interpretive guide after a week long training at Barr Lake State Park. I got to meet and network with many different faces within the CPW department and there were even some partners from outside CPW that took part in the training. They were long days but I gained a lot from this experience and I feel more comfortable speaking in front of different audiences and conveying information in a clear and meaningful way. There is a training coming up in May that will help me build on these interpretation skills even further. It is called the Interpretive Naturalist Training and I am excited to see how it differs from the Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) training. One of my main goals of this internship was to build confidence in talking to the public about different topics and I believe I am on my way to becoming a confident interpreter after this experience. We ended the week with each giving a 10 minute presentation on any topic and being graded on our delivery and overall theme. I received helpful feedback that I will be able to take with me to an Endangered Species Event that I will be working on in April.
After this training was over I traveled to Pensacola Florida for a Science Center for Marine Fisheries meeting with the help of the MANO Project Professional development fund. This opportunity presented itself as an introduction to the Masters Program that I will be starting once my internship is complete. I am working with CPW to use what I have learned about marine fisheries to put together educational materials about the difference between Colorado fisheries and marine fisheries. I plan to attend meetings on Career and Technical Education in schools to learn more about how we can teach students about fisheries in hopes of introducing them to a new career pathway. I am also planning to visit a fish hatchery to touch on the CTE programs, ask questions on how to build educational material, and put together material for agents of discovery and our SOLE Instagram page. This trip gave me the opportunity to network with people that I will be working with during my graduate program, meet and learn from important stakeholders, and prepare for my future career and education within Coastal Sciences.
I wouldn’t have been able to have any of these experiences without the help from the Hispanic Access Foundation and the MANO Project. I have more training, wilderness first aid classes, and educational programs around Colorado to look forward to in the upcoming month. I am excited to see what is to come and continue to build on the new skills and relationships that I am developing at Colorado Parks and Wildlife. I also hope that I can find a way to become more involved with the MANO community before this internship comes to an end.