Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Packing and Preparing
I work for an incredible company. I am participating in Patagonia’s environmental internship program, (you can see more about this at patagonia.com), where the company pays my salary for up to two months while I volunteer for an environmental group of my choice. This is an incredible benefit that I have been thinking about doing for years, but never applied for. (Unless, of course, you count my trip to Valle Chacabuco in 2005, but that is a different story!)
I encountered a group in Brisbane, Australia, that is focused on local wetlands restoration and agreed to take me on as an enthusiastic volunteer for two months. My contact, Jennifer Singfield, president of Bramble Bay Wetlandskeeper, was super helpful by providing all the paperwork I needed to complete my application. I found out my internship had gotten accepted last summer, but had to schedule my travel in January and February of 2009, in order to least impact my work at Patagonia. Several of my co-workers have been kind enough to keep my projects on track while I’m away, and I am indebted to them.
My work will include helping Bramble Bay Wetlandskeeper prepare for their World Wetlands Day event on Feb. 2; seagrass and salt marsh monitoring; non-native plant eradication (can you say "pulling weeds?"), assisting in grant writing; and general research. So it seems like it will be a combo of office work and fieldwork. I’ll definitely learn more as I go!
My plane leaves in 24 hours! More to come from the Southern Hemisphere.