Monday, August 5, 2019

Students complete internships at Blue Marsh National Recreation Area and Refreshing Mountain's Wildlife Center

Amanda Aulenbach conducts internship at Blue Marsh National Recreation Area 
Amanda Aulenbach and  Bobber
the water safety dog at
Blue Marsh Lake.

Amanda Aulenbach, a BS Biology major and Geography minor, conducted an internship at Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport, PA. Originally built by the Army Core of Engineers for flood control, Blue Marsh Lake is also a popular recreation area that is open 365 days a year and attracts 900,000 visitors annually. The lake has 1,150 surface acres of water for swimming, boating, and fishing and 6,200 acres of land containing hiking and horseback riding trails, picnic areas, and boat ramps. Operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District, the mission of Blue Marsh Lake is to promote water safety, to provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, and to conduct outreach activities related to the outdoors.

 During her internship, Amanda's duties included trail maintenance, patrolling the grounds, beaches, and dams, assisting visitors, and checking water quality. To prepare for these duties, Amanda received training in first aid, CPR/AED, brush fire control, self-defense, defensive driving, pepper spray use, contacting emergency medical services, issuing warning citations, and boat safety. Her water safety training included the proper use of kayaks and water rescue. Amanda also participated in owl hikes and bat counts with the visitors.

Amanda's favorite part of her internship
experience was how every week was different. There was always something new happening. In addition to learning new skills, she enjoyed working with the other interns and making connections with the rangers. Her absolute favorite experience was helping to rescue a heron that was tangled in fishing line. After cutting the heron free, she wrapped it in a blanket and held it securely until the Red Creek Wildlife workers arrived to treat it for any cuts and bruises. This experience has led Amanda to consider a career helping animals, perhaps at a sanctuary. Dr. Thomas Klinger was Amanda's academic supervisor.

Alyssa Williams explores herpetology at internship site

Alyssa Williams and the hog nose snake


Alyssa Williams, a BS Biology major, Ecology, Conservation, and Field Biology option, and Spatial Analysis and GIS minor, is conducting an internship at Refreshing Mountain’s Wildlife Center in Stevens, Pa. She cares for reptiles and amphibians at the facility and teaches school groups about herpetology.  As part of her internship, she practiced snake identification in the Pocono Mountains. She and her coworkers identified a total of 23 snakes including a copperhead and timber rattlesnake. In the photo at right, Alyssa holds a hog nose snake (who is playing dead!)  Dr. Steven Rier is Alyssa's program adviser


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