My name is Elka Graves and I am from Tres Piedras, NM. I attend Mesa Vista High School and am soon entering the 10th grade. This summer I worked as an intern for River Source and the experience was great. I learned a lot about ecosystem management. I first learned about this opportunity during a school field trip and because I have worked with my uncle selling wood and working with wood harvest machinery. I was very interested in applying.
I completed the application process and was eventually interviewed. During the interview I was a little nervous because I have never interviewed for a job. However, I was confident during the interview because I really was interested in working as an intern because I knew the experience was going to help me in the future. Once I found out that I was hired I immediately went and got materials that I needed for my job. The things that I got for my job were: sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, long pants, gloves, and a water bottle.
After morning orientation, paperwork and how to do timesheets, we went to the El Rito Ranger District Station where they then talked about what can be done with our forest and what can be done in the future and we also talked about that kinda stuff when we went to the El Rito Campground.
Tuesday we went to El Rito and took some water quality measurements to make sure that the water was in good quality and it wasn’t bad. We found some reactive phosphates which are things from people like soap or in soil so someone must have been washing clothes upstream or there was soil erosion or something. We went to each site and took water samples and we also found bugs that were pretty cool so we found riffle beetles which means the water is good and also found a baby fish and some leeches. I found it pretty cool seeing what kinds of bugs and things like that are in our rivers and what they mean.
On Wednesday we went and installed Pictureposts and used the aerial drone to take pictures. We also started on our project on where we had observed an archaeological site and off-road vehicles causing a lot of erosion. Due to that, we decided to put two logs and a lot of debris so that they can’t go through and just worked on all of those kinds of things. Thursday we went to my high school (Mesa Vista) where the Nusenda Credit Union’s June Manning talked about financial things and how to work things and things about credit cards. I then was used as an example of profit because I want to profit off of the money that I get from this internship and use some of it on a saddle then get a horse out of the money I already have and go to barrel races because you can make money off of those.
On Monday during the second week we went to the campground to start on it. We started with cutting posts and digging holes and we got our posts and a fire ring so we can move where the old one was because it was not in a good place. On Tuesday we got our cement and dug a hole by the picnic table and fire ring so that they can’t steal them. I got to mix some of it and that day we had to dig more holes and cut some posts and put posts and then cleaned branches out and racked a lot so it didn’t look bad. Wednesday we worked on the same things and then we put some concrete by the jungle trail. There were too many rocks, so we put cement there under the post but we made sure no one could move it, and put rocks so it looked nice and a trail where only people walk. Then we weed wacked and moved debris that looked bad at the campsite. Thursday we worked at the school on our blogs and things, and just feedback on what we did, and preparing for our presentation. This week is our presentation and I’m finished and i’m just a bit nervous but that’s OK because I know I’ll do fine.