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Caroline wraps up her summer internship

Sep 5, 2023 | Blog, Summer Intern Blog

Sept. 1, 2023

Caroline Puckett

After 11 weeks of learning new skills and hanging out with the other interns, my time at Starker for this summer has come to an end.

Monday, our morning started with making sure the fire trucks had everything they needed. We took inventory, wiped the windows down, and vacuumed. Joe and I then went out to work on stream surveys. It was an easy job as our first stand didn’t even have any water going into it other than the fish stream going through the bottom corner. Our second stand was a little steep, so it took us some time getting down to the fish stream. We ended up only finding a little bit of water going into it but didn’t have time to follow it completely.

Dense underbrush makes stream finding difficult.

Tuesday was fun as we finally got some rain, well at least Joe and I did. We spent the day out in Alsea doing stream surveys. We found some water at our first stand, but it just barely went into the stand. At our second stand, we didn’t find anything. Our third and final stand had some water and there were supposedly about five streams that went into it. It was a little brushy on the first stream so that one took the longest to get up and find the CIP (channel initiation point). We unfortunately didn’t finish the stand, so we’ll have to come back.

Reece and Sage at the bottom of a steep trail.

Wednesday was a pretty good day as all us interns packed into one truck to go and do a big and steep stream survey together. We worked with Reece and ended up getting it done by lunch, so we were able to check in two other stands before going back to the office.

We ended up getting back to the office at 2 p.m. and spent the afternoon rolling hoses and washing fire trucks.

Wet. That’s pretty much the best way to describe Thursday. All of us interns stuck together today to try and tackle a huge stream with about a dozen possible tributaries. It rained all day and almost all of the tributaries were actually visible. However, our GPSs were not working, and we eventually had to give up trying to get them to work. We were only able to flag the points we would normally put on the GPS, which means we would have to come back another day to enter them into the iPad. Even after skipping lunch, we hardly made a dent into the possible streams.

Anthony holding a crawdad.

You know water is nearby when you see a newt after a slug.

Friday came quickly. Since Thursday’s stand was so huge, we weren’t able to finish it and had to come back again. Luckily it didn’t rain today but most of the plants still had some moisture on them so we all still got soaked. Besides the fact that Kathy, Joe and I had a section of the stand that was very steep and very brushy, it was a very good day. Getting to work together on my final stand and have one final lunch as a group was great.

The crew from left: Anthony Cafferata, Joseph Shapiro, Kathy Young, Sabrina Giulietti and Caroline Puckett.

I’m so glad I got the chance to work with this group of interns. Being the youngest one in the group, I never felt left out and they were always willing to answer a question, whether it was about tree identification or college. So, thank you to Kathy, Emily, Sabrina, Joe, and Anthony. You guys made this summer a little easier to navigate and I’m so glad I got to know you guys.

This week was my last week for this summer with Starker. I went into this experience with pretty much no idea what I was going to be doing. I’ve loved almost every minute of it and I’ve gained so much knowledge from not only the foresters but from my fellow interns and from the other starker employees. I’m so grateful I got to have this experience and I hope I get the chance to work with everyone again in the future.

Thank you, Starker, for having me and for everything you’ve taught me.

– Caroline Puckett


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