Aliya Khan (Natural Resources Conservation) – Summer 2019

BSCN – National Parks Service, Virginia, USA

This summer I had the opportunity to complete a second Mosaics in Science internship with the National Parks Service. I worked in Manassas National Battlefield Park (MANA) in Manassas, Virginia. MANA was formed shortly after the Civil War as a private park and memorial to those who died during the First and Second Battle of Manassas. Eventually management transitioned to the NPS and the park has become a managed grassland that provides rare habitat to migratory and grassland birds. This summer I worked as a member of the Natural Resources team to complete 45 bird surveys, in depth habitat surveys for bobwhite quail, 3 pond cleanups, build 9 deer exclosures, set up two photo monitoring sites, and wrote the protocol for a callback survey, the deer exclosure monitoring project and a citizen science initiative. I’m really glad to have had the opportunity to be so independent, I got to use the scientific skills I had gained from my previous internships to design an experiment and I got a crash course in managing myself and others in order to execute all the plans for summer. In addition to the botanical or bird ID and the scientific skills I learned, I got to learn how to work so independently and take on so much responsibility which was a incredibly valuable experience.