• Melanie Crawford

My Monday as a HFF Intern

My Mondays as an intern at the Henry’s Fork Foundation in Ashton start with me pressing snooze on my alarm clock one too many times before I finally get up and prepare for the day. I make myself a quick breakfast in the intern suite and report to my desk where I sign on to the staff meeting at nine. During this meeting I get to hear from all of the staff members about their current progress and future plans making me appreciate the wide variety of research and responsibilities that HFF staff undertake.


Once everyone has spoken, the meeting ends and I find Matt, my mentor for the summer, to talk to him about our schedules for the week. We decide which days we need to conduct the floater survey and discuss any other items of business. The floater survey is generally focused around the weekends, and the times that we go on each day are randomly selected from three options (8am-12pm, 12pm-4pm, or 4pm-8pm). Today, I am scheduled to survey from 12pm-4pm and randomly selected to start the survey in Ashton.


Before departing from HFF, I have a couple hours to begin data entry for data that has been collected over the weekend. The two main types of information that I am responsible for entering include the survey responses and a floater counter. The floater counter consists of a wildlife sensor camera placed on the old Marysville bridge just outside of Ashton. I count the number of floaters and note the type of floating vessel they each use.


Around 11:30, I make a quick lunch and prepare to leave for my survey shift. I leave the office at 11:45 to ensure I am on time to survey. When we survey in Ashton, we split the time between the Jump Off Canyon and Ashton Reservoir boat ramps. I chose to go to the reservoir first today and wait for floaters to unload after traveling from the Stonebridge boat ramp. After they make their way to the parking lot, I will approach them with my clipboard in hand and ask them a few questions about their experience. I have the opportunity to talk to a variety of people; some have traveled from far away to float the Henry’s Fork. After an hour at the reservoir, I ride down the road to survey at Jump Off Canyon for the next hour. Once the clock hits 2pm, I get back in the truck, and drive up to the Last Chance boat ramp in Island Park to survey people who float the Box Canyon until 4pm. Before heading home, I go to the Island Park dam boat ramp to record and reset the vehicle counter that we use to measure how often the boat ramp is used.


When I get home, I return the survey clipboard and car keys to their respective homes in the office and return to the intern suite. There, I typically put on my running shoes and plug in my headphones before walking toward the Ashton-Tetonia Trail where I will go for a short run. After working out, I shower and cook a quick dinner then head back to the river to fish or read before sunset. Once the sun finally goes down, I return to HFF to prepare for bed and get ready to start the day over again tomorrow!


Picture taken by the sensor camera on the old Marysville bridge of Erik and me when Matt took us fishing one afternoon.

Photo of the Henry’s Fork at sunset from Jump Off Canyon boat ramp.

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