Marlisa Jemison’s Passion: Electrofishing

Our national blog, Open Spaces, is featuring monthly posts by Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns working to promote, protect and study wildlife on public lands all over the U.S. Since 1957, SCA has been connecting young people from all backgrounds with life-changing, career-making conservation service opportunities. Learn more at

Open Spaces recently featured, Marlisa Jemison, from Silvio. O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge, which conserves land in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, so you know we had to share the message here. 



Marlisa on the electrofishing boat

“I love fishing.”

I never planned to say that in my life, but I’ve never found much joy in the thought of waiting hours for the mere possibility of catching a fish. I was more into the idea of letting other people enjoy fishing while I enjoyed the spoils of their labor.

As it turns out, I just hadn’t been doing the right kind of fishing. Electrofishing is its own glorious world of fun, a world I wasn’t privy to until my year in SCA.

As a Trail Development Intern, my main job was to design and build a trail at Silvio. O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge in Hadley, Massachusetts. I majored in Biology and I love being outdoors, so I’ve always been interested in a career where I’d be able to cater to other people who also love being outdoors. I soon found out that in addition to trail work, I would also be doing some environmental education, Hurricane Sandy cleanup and work with the Fisheries staff. Being from Dallas, Texas, I was accustomed to the idea of fishing, but I had only made one attempt to really fish and I think after five minutes or so, I handed the pole to my stepdad and started exploring the woods instead.

A month or so into my term, after lots of training, I found myself preparing to…continue reading this over at Open Spaces!

One Comment on “Marlisa Jemison’s Passion: Electrofishing

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