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.
2018 Summer Internships
In 2018 the Clallam MRC expanded the program through funding from the Northwest Strait Foundation to sponsor seven interns. The expansion has been possible through collaboration with the Jamestown S’Klallam and the Makah Tribes. The students were Lael Butler, Kennedy Cameron, Collin Boe, Rylan MacDonald, Cole Svec, Christopher Reis, and Griffin Hoins. During the public Intern Celebration event August 20th the students presented their projects to more than 40 local residents at Feiro Marine Life Center.
The two students organized and conducted educational outreach events to recreational crab fishers at boat ramps throughout 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.
Elwha Beach Stewardship
The student conducted more than 18 surveys of people and dog usage of the Elwha estuary area. Part of the internship was to evaluate the use of signage in educational outreach. The internship also included performing pet waste surveys along the access path.
Pigeon Guillemot Surveys
The student conducted numerous breeding surveys along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and ensured that the data collected by all volunteer surveyors was uploaded correctly into the database shared with Island MRC.
The student participated in three kayak-based kelp surveys in Clallam and Freshwater Bay. As part of the surveys the student explored collction of plankton samples. 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.
Makah Tribe Green Crab Removal
The student participated in the intensive trapping effort conducted by the Makah Tribe in the Wa’atch and Tsoo-Yess rivers and along the shore of Neah Bay. The trapping effort included setting and recording the catch in 60 minnow and Fukui traps twice a month.
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe Green Crab Investigation
The student participated in the exploratory trapping effort conducted by the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe in eastern Clallam County. The student also participated in the trapping effort conducted at the Dungeness National refuge by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
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:
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.
Pet Waste Education
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.
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 losing 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 #catchmorecrab 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:
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.
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.
Kelp bed surveys in Freshwater Bay
The intern helped in 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.