Last updated: June 9, 2016
I chose to intern at the National Parks Service in the Verde Valley because I would like to gain hands-on experience while also helping an organization that I have loved since childhood. I feel that this internship will guide me in the right direction for a career path, considering I don't know exactly what career path is right for me just yet. The Verde Valley, which encompasses Montezuma Well, Montezuma Castle, Tuzigoot, and the Verde River, has so much unique history along with extraordinary landscape;it was an easy choice for me to pick where to spend my summer. Through my internship in the Verde Valley, I hope to gain a better insight of what each division of the National Parks Service is like and to attain a better understanding of the work that goes into running a national park of the United States. An accomplishment for me this summer would be to do an amazing job for the National Parks Service by working hard and making a positive difference in the Verde Valley.
Today was my first day as an intern, and I started at Montezuma Castle. The day started off with some hummingbird tagging, and although I didn't get to witness any hummingbird tagging action, I got to meet some great Parks Service volunteers and staff. They had been patiently waiting for hummingbird's from 5:30 AM all the way until 10:00 AM! I was informed that they had caught and tagged five hummingbirds before I arrived. The hummingbirds were caught by a trap around a feeder; when a hummingbird went to the feeder to take a drink a Parks Service employee would release the trap around the bird (which didn't harm the bird in any way). There were many times when the trap was released but the hummingbird was too quick and got away. It was nice to get to mingle with the staff and volunteers while submersed in an oasis of green trees and colorful birds;the same trees and colorful birds that can be found all around Montezuma Castle.
Next, I had the pleasure of meeting Sam Sharp, who holds a plethora of knowledge on Montezuma Castle as well as the surrounding area. He has been volunteering his time to the Park Service in the interpretation division for fourteen years! Sam was kind enough to share some of his knowledge with me and let me ease drop on his conversations with guests. He had an answer for every question that was thrown at him, and I was impressed to say the least. Whenever I have a question I will feel confident going to Sam, and I have a feeling I'm going to have a lot of questions considering I'm going to be working in interpretation in just a few short weeks.
The rest of my day consisted of reading, trying to gain as much knowledge as possible on Tuzigoot, Montezuma Well, and Montezuma Castle. I have definitely learned a lot but there is still a long way to go. I had an amazing first day and I enjoyed meeting everyone who worked at Montezuma Castle; every staff member was friendly and genuinely cared about their job. I can't wait for tomorrow!