Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 3 at Prince William Forest Park

Hello bloggers and followers, this is Jess here checking in from Prince William Forest Park. This has been yet another week for the history books and I am going to start from the beginning of the work week. It was a Tuesday morning and it was a hot one. I started off the morning with an 8AM meeting with the resource management team and their new interns here at the park and once it got to be 9AM, I was sent to Cabin Camp 4 for something that almost slipped my mind. Park visitors from another country!! And not just any park visitors and not just from any other country; but park visitors who came all the way from China to visit our park to see how it is managed. They were from the Shandong province and they were the staff of a forest area in their part of China. They came to Prince William Forest Park to see how a forest is managed in the United States. I was whisked away to meet these visitors based on my intermediate level Chinese language skills. It was really an amazing experience. I bought my Chinese book with me this summer hoping to brush up on my second language, but I never thought I'd meet native speakers who would tell me that I speak the language well! (Of course, I had to tell them I wasn't very good, based on the Chinese custom of humility)

They had representatives from all of their divisions come and hear about park management from representatives from the same divisions. Our Chief of Law Enforcement, Cyndee Sirk-Fear, started off her presentation with what it is that the law enforcement team does in the park. She explained that there is one main responsibility: protection. She then went further in explaining what it is that the LE team protects: people from people, people from resources, and resources from people. After her presentation, the representatives chatted and took pictures with us. I tried to help out as much as I can with translating, but I guess they spoke at least advanced level Chinese. Next time, next time.

Chinese visitors listening to Chief Sirk-Fear

After that amazing experience, I was reunited with Subhi and sent back to hang out with the resource management team and learned about what they do for the park. What they do seems to be self explanatory; they manage the resources, but the how and why aspects of their jobs is what we learned about this week. With the rest of the interns, we took a tour of the park. By this time, we have already been living in the park for about three weeks, but the resource management team took us places that we have never seen. We went hiking to see the resources that the park protects, including Quantico Creek. Wednesday, we learned how to take water for sampling and testing for E-Coli. The park biologist explained us that testing the water is important because it is part of the park's resource should be clean and protected. Water is important because it is one of the basic necessities of life. Just like air needs to be clean to breathe, water needs to be clean and free from E-Coli for the animals to bathe and drink.

Resource Management team taking water samples

The next two days, we continued our resource management team experience with identification of invasive species and what the team does about them. Invasive species are plants that are a danger to other plants that surround them. The park biologist explained that the team needs to exterminate these species so that the other plants can live. Furthermore, the invasive species are threats to the animals that live in the park because they would eat the plants and the invasive species would kill off the plants that were good for the animals. We learned that the only way to stop the invasive species was to spray them with herbicide. Not only did we learn about what herbicide is, but we went out to a site where there was a mass population of invasive species and learned how to spray them with herbicide. Of course, before that we learned about the personal protective equipment and how to mix the herbicide. It was interesting to see the resource management team in action doing their job to protect the park.

Subhi and I enjoyed our time with resource management and were glad to see what they do to protect the park. We had an interesting and insightful week. Stay tuned to hear about our time with the maintenance team.

Jess and Subhi from PRWI

No comments:

Post a Comment