Tag Archives: aquarium

Baby black rat snake found while removing fallen tree limbs (Taken by Sarah Carpe)

Conservation from an (unlikely?) source

From left to right we have Logan Kline, Sarah Carpe, Sheldon Mason and Adler (AJ) Pruitt

From left to right we have Logan Kline, Sarah Carpe, Sheldon Mason and Adler (AJ) Pruitt

Today’s post comes from Sarah Carpe, one of our Masonville Cove Baltimore Urban Conservation & Education Interns, in conjunction with the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD.

My name is Sarah, and I’m an Urban Conservation and Education Intern at Masonville Cove. From June 13th – 24th, I spent time at Patuxent Research Refuge with three other interns and my field supervisor, Molly Finch. In our time on the refuge we shadowed several positions within the conservation field.

The preservation of earth’s natural state includes a few positions that naturally come to mind. Wildlife biologist, conservationist, and environmental scientist are some common careers in conservation.

While these positions are essential, and we observed many of them at the refuge, there are some less well known jobs that are of equal importance to restoring our environment.

For a majority of our time at Patuxent Research Refuge, we worked with the facilities department. I learned that the work they do has a direct impact on the refuge. Our firsthand experience showed us the direct benefits of this job and its importance to conservation.

Facilities staff do a variety of jobs, many of which require physical labor. In the short time we spent working with them, we removed illegally dumped tires, fallen tree limbs, and massive piles of scrap aluminum, wood, and fiberglass roofing.

Interns working (Taken by Molly Finch)

Interns working (Taken by Molly Finch)

I feel as though shining a light on what the Patuxent facilities staff do is of massive importance because it had the most immediate impact of any position that I observed at Patuxent. If you didn’t know what was there a week before we cleaned the dump sites, you never had any clue.

Working for facilities isn’t entirely physical either; we viewed tons of organisms in our time outside. A short list includes foxes, wild turkeys, turtles (both box turtles and red eared sliders), frogs, toads, mice, groundhogs, dragonflies, fish, and several others.

Baby black rat snake found while removing fallen tree limbs (Taken by Sarah Carpe)

Baby black rat snake found while removing fallen tree limbs (Taken by Sarah Carpe)

The wildlife we saw while spending time with this department was so amazing because none of it was planned. Unlike a wildlife biologist where you have a predetermined animal that is is the focus of your survey (perhaps a box turtle), we saw the habitat as a whole, with all of its organisms in our focus. Facilities work gave me an eye for what Patuxent really looks like in terms of wildlife as well as its mission as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Being in the presence of so much wildlife really connected me to the surrounding habitat as well as the other conservation positions that aren’t the typical careers. While every environmental career has an influence, facilities staff play an invaluable role in conservation that has an impact you can see instantaneously.

From left to right we have Logan Kline, Sarah Carpe, Sheldon Mason and Adler (AJ) Pruitt

Baltimore Urban Conservation & Education interns released into the wild!

Today’s blog comes to you from Curtis Bennett from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland

My name is Curtis Bennett and I am a Project Manager within the Conservation Department at the National Aquarium.  On behalf of the Steering Committee for the Urban Conservation & Education Internships Program, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our 2016 interns!  On June 6th these four college students from the Greater Baltimore area are going to begin an eight week journey, learning from local experts and accumulating many new experiences along the way, all in an effort to paint a clear picture of career opportunities within the conservation sector.

Over the past couple months, these four students have been patiently awaiting the start of program and here’s what each student is looking forward to the most:

From left to right we have Logan Kline, Sarah Carpe, Sheldon Mason and Adler (AJ) Pruitt

From left to right: Logan Kline, Sarah Carpe, Sheldon Mason and Adler (AJ) Pruitt

Logan Kline, University of Maryland College Park Environmental Science and Policy Major

“I am most excited about applying my passion in a city I’ve grown up visiting. I love environmental education and this is my first chance to really test out the waters in what I hope to dedicate my career to!”

Sarah Carpe, Baltimore City Community College Biology Major

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, it’s not going to get better, it’s not, small acts of compassion carried out by the millions can change the world.” “I’m definitely excited about how far I can make my impact stretch with this program. It could certainly be exponential in size.”

Sheldon Mason, Community College of Baltimore County Biology Major

“I am probably the most excited about getting out there and participating in conservation related projects like habitat restoration, I am also excited to have the opportunity to be working with organizations that I haven’t worked with before like the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.”

A.J. Pruitt, University of Maryland College Park Government and Politics Major

“I am looking forward to participating in the 2016 Urban Conservation and Education Internship Program in order to increase my knowledge of the surrounding ecosystem and become a better steward of the local environment. I have been impressed with the work of the Maryland Port Administration, Living Classrooms Foundation, the National Aquarium, and US Fish and Wildlife Service in the past, and am excited to learn more about, and work with, each organization this summer.”

Please stay tuned and follow our four interns as they share their experiences over the course of this program!