Saturday, 03 October 2020 14:40

From Watch Hill to the Estate!

What a crazy and fun journey it has been so far interning for Fire Island National Seashore! I wish I could show you guys the beauty of this park in person because photos do not show justice. As Fall approaches so does change here at the park. Soon the park sites on the island like Watch Hill and Sailors Haven will be closing its doors to visitors and limiting the ferry rides due to the island closing for the upcoming winter. I have had the opportunity to extend my time here till the beginning of next year and continuing interning through Environment for the Americas here at Fire island. This chance to stay and see the park in a whole new season has brought me so much joy and excitement. Being from Miami, Florida all I know is heat and beaches and I have never experienced a true New York winter or Fall or even seen snow. So, by that you can already know I am excited but also scared to see what the winter cold will be like for me. Luckily, I was able to move to a home that is much warmer and a little closer to our offices and that is the William Floyd Estate in Mastic Beach; Our historical site here on Fire Island. It’s a huge change from having the Watch Hill beach as my backyard to the William Floyd forest but this place is just as beautiful. I am surrounded by history and color changing trees and you can smell the fresh cold air as I walk from my car to my front door. This place almost reminds me of my home at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, where I interned last summer, so there is a feeling of nostalgia when I am here. I am eager to find out what the next couple months will be like for me. During this season we will focus on school educational virtual programs and videos where we get to interact with kids and show them Fire Island through a zoom like setting. My first Spanish program is coming up in few days, I will be showing the Patchogue community the beautiful treasure that is Fire Island and what it has to offer. This will be my first time doing an all-Spanish program, so I am a little nervous but nevertheless ready to interact with visitors and show them Fire island through my eyes.

From Watch Hill to the Estate has been a big change for me in the last couple of days but I have a feeling I am going to love it here just as much.

Till next time!

Stay tuned for my next blog for updates on my adventure

  • Jhulian G.
Published in EFTA intern blog
Friday, 04 September 2020 14:37

Meet Ranger Allie!

Its going to be about two months now since I have arrived at Fire Island and I have been loving every minute of it. My days are filled with learning about the park, roving the trails and the beach, helping visitors at the visitor center, and working on translations and videos at Headquarters. Over the past months I have been able to meet various staff members from different divisions and learn about their career and lives and hear each of their inspiring stories and journey.

Throughout my experience with the National Park service I have gotten lucky to have guides or mentors to help along the way and take me under their wing to teach me their ways. Here at Fire Island I have been blessed enough to have multiple people who have welcomed me with open arms and has helped me throughout this adventure. I wanted to write this blog to highlight one person out of the group who has taken me under her wing ever since I met her on my first day and has shown me all beauty fire island has to offer.

Ranger Allie Sliney is and Interpretation Ranger here at Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS); this being her 4th season here at the park. After graduating from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Wildlife and Conservation Biology she became an intern through the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and worked here at FIIS as her first job with the NPS. Since a young girl she had a strong passion for the environment, conservation, and marine biology thus FIIS being the perfect place for her to start her career off.

Why did you decide to come back after you first experience here? How does it feel to be back for the 4th time?

It feels good it’s an interesting season and it has been an adjustment due to everything happening with COVID-19 but it’s a place that I really enjoy which is why I keep coming back to it. I love the beach, the park and what we teach here, the people, and overall, the atmosphere here. Its been a great experience so far.”

Compared to others Allie is brand new to the national park service but in the past few seasons that she been here, she has been able to learn just as much and work alongside and learn from many amazing rangers that later became her mentors too.

As an interpretation ranger, she has been able to take part and or create various programs for visitors to enjoy such as canoe programs, tours through the salt marsh, seining and fishing with young junior rangers, and many more. This year the park has had to adjust since a lot had to change due to the pandemic. Many of those programs that Allie did in the past had to be cancelled for this season and many visitors stopped coming to the park but with the help of the staff, Allie has been able to take Fire Island to the Visitor- by creating virtual educational programs and videos for everyone to enjoy.

Do you think being part of an internship like the SCA program helped you get where you are today? Do you think internships like LHIP and SCA are important?

Yes, I do think they are important. The reason I am here today is because I was able to be a part of the SCA program and because my internship experience was amazing, and it opened a new path for me…. I want to continue to work for the NPS and travel around the country and learn about parks and teach people about them. I have this passion for the NPS now because of my internship,”

I have been lucky enough to learn more about Ranger Allie everyday as she teaches me about Fire Island and talks about her experience here. I relate to her story in many ways and that’s why I look up to her and hope to one day wear the iconic NPS hat as proud as she does.

Big thanks to Ranger Allie Sliney for being one of the many reasons I love working here at Fire Island National Seashore.

 

Stay tuned to my future blogs and updates on my internship!

 

Best,

Jhulian

Published in EFTA intern blog
Friday, 31 July 2020 16:14

My Second Week on Fire Island!

Fire Island has been everything I dreamed of and more! It’s only been my second week here and I love it so much already. On my first week I was able to meet most of my coworkers and roommate for the season and travel around the island to see the multiple visitor centers. Everyone was so welcoming, so it made the adjustment much easier. My days were filled with orientation reading, getting to know my supervisor, sitting by the beach, shadowing rangers at the Watch Hill Visitor Center, and having food at the local snack bar; It was nothing but fun!  By the second week the speed of things started to get faster. It was Latino Conservation Week, so we had a few social media stuff planned to spread awareness but things changed overnight. I was told that David Vela, Deputy Director of The National Park Service was going to be visiting Fire Island and they wanted me to meet him. Well that meeting turned to me having the opportunity to interview both him and Alexcy Romero, The Superintendent of Fire Island National Sea Shore for an article and evergreen video. I have never interviewed anyone let alone someone as big as the Director of National Park Service so you can already know how much anxiety and excitement I was feeling!

Although I had my doubts and prayed I didn’t embarrass myself in front of the Director and  Superintendent. The meeting went even better than I thought, I felt honored to be sitting in a room with two important Latinos and to hear their thoughts on conservation and the Latino Community in the NPS. I was able to get all the information I needed to write my article and create my video.

At the end of the week I also had the pleasure to meet Dr. Sheylda Diaz-Mendez from the Environment for the Americas. Sheylda was visiting Justin, my roommate who is part of Mosaics in Science Internship program. It was an eventful way to end my week.

It has been such a fun and crazy adventure so far and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season will look like here at Fire Island.

 

Keep an eye out on the Fire Island Facebook for my interview video!

Till next time!

Jhulian

Check out my article!

https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/jhulian-gutierrez-beginnings.htm

Check out the article by the Long Island Advance that highlighted the Directors Visit to Fire island!

http://www.longislandadvance.net/stories/national-parks-head-visits-patchogue-for-latino-conservation-week,86047?

 

Jhulian Gutierrez ( left ) Dr.Diaz-Mendez ( Middle ) Justin Wilson ( Right ) In front of Watch Hill Marina 

Published in EFTA intern blog
Sunday, 12 July 2020 01:28

See you soon Fire Island!

It’s been officially two weeks since I arrived in Long Island, New York and I can probably say it’s been the longest two weeks ever! Due to Covid-19 and for everyone's safety, the governor of New York had to set a travel advisory that stated all outside visitors or returning New Yorkers from states that have a high degree of community-wide spread of Covid-19 must quarantine for two weeks.
Throughout my stay here I have felt a mix of emotions: excitement, eagerness, anxiousness, but more than all-happy to finally be one step closer to being at Fire island. Before arriving here I did not know what to expect but the outcome was more than I could ask for! The first week was filled with phone introductions with the Fire island staff, they were all so welcoming and made me feel like part of the team from the start. Kathy Krause, my supervisor, was the most attentive of all; she gave me plenty of orientation reading to get a head start on and we talked on the phone every other day about the island's history and ecosystems and brainstormed ideas of what my first projects can be. LHIP also had a few webinars and zoom chats so it was nice to see the other interns and talk about their experience with their projects and parks. The second week looked a lot like the first but time seemed to go slower as the days went by. My eagerness to be at the park grew stronger by the minute and now that I’m on my last day of quarantine you can’t imagine the feelings I am feeling right now! I’m ready to work and more than anything be outside again!

The next few weeks will be filled with lots of adventure. I will be training with Kathy and the interpretation staff around the island and shadowing rangers to learn more about the park. I will be working on my Latino Conservation Week social media awareness event and start on some English to Spanish program translations for the park, so it will be a busy rest of the month. Although this season the park will be doing a lot of things differently from what they have done before, they have been able to come up with some amazing ideas for programs and events that I can’t wait to share with you guys soon.

Till next time!

- JG

I’d like to say thank you to the Fire island Staff and LHIP team for making my quarantine as comfortable as possible! I am grateful for all that you have done for me so far.

Good luck to the other interns and have a great summer!

Published in EFTA intern blog
Friday, 24 April 2020 00:11

Jhulian Gutierrez

I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, but currently reside in Sunrise, Florida. Ever since I was a young boy, I have been fascinated with zoology and wildlife conservation. Growing up, my aunt, who is also my mentor, would tell me stories of her career in environmental science and work as a park ranger. These stories left me in awe, as my love for wildlife conservation grows stronger every minute. I dream to one day have a career that I love and that will challenge me every day. As a first-generation college student, this has become a passion. I am now at Broward College where I am pursuing an associate’s degree. I then want to transfer to a university to obtain my bachelor in marine zoology and minor in education. This is my second season with LHIP, and I am very grateful and look forward to the opportunity to work at Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado. I plan to take all of the experience and to utilize the skills I acquire and apply it to my future career.

Published in Intern Bios
Monday, 03 December 2018 21:15

Kaileigh Mendoza

Kaileigh Mendoza is a senior at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, New York, where she is majoring in biology. She is interested in attending medical school and hopes to become a pediatric neurologist. Kaileigh will support interpretation and outreach efforts this summer.

Published in Intern Bios
Monday, 03 December 2018 20:17

Melissa Nunez

Growing up on Long Island and appreciating the beautiful natural resources that comprise it is a major reason why I am so excited to work at Fire Island National Seashore. I am looking forward to meeting and shadowing different professionals and observing the many roles and occupations that are essential to running a park.

Published in Intern Bios
Sunday, 10 June 2018 16:30

Vamos a la playa, a mi me gusta baila…

I’m Amy Carrillo. I am a junior at Fordham University. I am currently majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Biology. I grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut, and now live in Queens, New York. For as long as I’ve lived near the Long Island Sound, I had never heard of Fire Island until applying for this internship.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 28 June 2018 16:27

A Living Fossil?!

Horseshoe crabs are lining up on the ocean as we speak! Do you know why? June is horseshoe crab mating season. They enjoy coming out at night so they can mate and lay their eggs. Just the other night, I was walking down the bay and got to see about a hundred horseshoe crabs lining up along the shoreline.

Published in Blog
Friday, 29 June 2018 16:20

Fire Island Sites

There are four major sites on Fire Island that I have gotten to visit:

Watch Hill

This is the first site I got to visit on Fire Island. Even though it’s a long ferry ride, it’s worth it. Watch Hill is home to an expansive salt marsh that is bursting with wildlife. You can can see Snowy Egrets, Osprey, deer, Gray Catbirds, and much more. The waves on the beach are huge and the sand dunes surrounding the beach are fairly untouched. At this location I got to observe Ranger Pat lead a tour for a class field trip, and I even got to help out.

Published in Blog
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