Clallam MRC interns learn valuable professional skills, help advance Clallam MRC projects, and engage with the local community on marine issues.
Since 2010 Clallam MRC has provided paid internships to high school and college students to work with scientists and other professionals on current environmental projects. For the last four years the internships have been tied into the four major categories of Clallam MRC’s projects: nearshore, water quality, marine species, and education & outreach.
2017 Summer Internships
Similar to 2016 Clallam MRC offered paid internships to local college students. Three interns completed the internship and on August 28th they presented their projects at Feiro Marine Life Center during the public Intern Celebration event. Twenty five local residents came to the event and asked each presenter a lot of good questions.
The 2017 intern projects included:
1) The student in collaboration with the longer-termed intern organized and participated in educational outreach events to recreational crab fishers in Clallam County. The effort also included distributing educational information through local stores. This project is part of a larger outreach effort led by the Northwest Strait Initiative.
2) The student conducted 11 surveys of people and dog usage of the Elwha estuary area. The internship also included performing educational outreach about the impacts of pet waste and free-running dogs and a marine debris cleanup after July 4th. One of the outcomes of the internship was the installation of four signs displaying a verse encouraging dog owners to pick up after their dogs.
3) The student organized and participated in four kayak-based kelp surveys in Clallam and Freshwater Bay. The internship was a continuation of last years efforts and the kelp surveys are part of a larger project led by the Northwest Straits Commission.
2017 Crabber Outreach Internship
In April 2017 Clallam MRC hired Shannon Weaver as our Crabber Outreach Intern. The internship will run through September and focus on educating recreational crabbers in proper fishing techniques to avoid loosing crab pots. The 2017 crabbing season runs between July 1st and September 4th and during that time Shannon and one of Clallam MRC summer interns, Joshua Davis, have visited boat ramps from Neah Bay to John Wayne Marina near Sequim to hand out information about proper fishing techniques. The internship is part of a larger effort #cathmorecrab lead by the Northwest Straits Initiative.
2016 Summer Internships
In 2016 the Clallam MRC members decided to increase the number of paid hours for the Clallam MRC summer internship to provide the students more time to work on the individual projects. Three interns completed the internship and on August 15th they presented their projects at Feiro Marine Life Center. The 2016 intern projects included:
1. Beach use survey along the west bank of Elwha River. The intern conducted six surveys to document the different usage of the newly formed beach and the west river bank. The surveys also documenting free-running dogs and pet waste. The poster is available here.
2. Updates to the Geographic Response Plan. The natural resource data in the current GRP was primarily collected in 1990. The intern helped compile and format GIS data to be uploaded into SoundIQ. The main outcome of the project was uploading beach seine survey data for 40 locations between Discovery and Freshwater Bay in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The poster is available here.
3. Kelp bed surveys in Freshwater Bay. The intern helped organizing and conducting three surveys of the kelp bed in Freshwater Bay. The effort is part of a larger long-term monitoring effort lead by the Northwest Straits Commission. The poster is available here.
2015 Summer Internships
The five students completed their internships August 17th by giving poster presentations for about 30 community members at the Port Angeles Yacht Club. The 2015 intern projects included:
1. Marine debris removal on Ediz Hook. The intern organized two beach cleanups on Ediz Hook, The first cleanup July 5th removed 20 bags of debris primarilyOn August 15th the interns fireworks and the second cleanup August 2nd removed about 7 bags of debris including bottles, cups, shoes and clothes. To raise awareness of the July 5th cleanup the intern organized a float for the Fourth of July parade in Port Angeles.
2. Community outreach - build awareness and public support for marine recovery actions. The intern organized a short speaker series. July 22nd Tori Cantelow talked about the restoration of Olympia oysters in Sequim Bay and the second presentation by Ian Miller, Washington Sea Grant, and Cindy Jayne, North Olympic Development Council, is planned for August 27th. In addition, the intern worked on Clallam MRC booth material for the Dungeness River Festival.
3. Assist in updating the Geographic Oil Spill Response Plan. The intern updated the information on the Elwha River estuary using Google Earth with a focus on the large changes in sediment distribution and type at the mouth of the river. The effort was summarized in an appendix to be included in the revised Geographic Response Plan.
4. Survey of invasive plants along the shore of Port Angeles Harbor. The intern worked with the Port of Port Angeles to document the distribution of invasive plant species on port property. The effort was summarized in a shoreline management plan on how to control the invasive plants.
5. Restoration of the Olympia oyster in Sequim Bay. For the second year the Clallam MRC intern worked closely with Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe on the Olympia oyster restoration in Sequim Bay.