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Summer Begins!

Hello! My name is Marlia Richer and I am the Henry’s Fork Foundation’s 2023 Field Work intern. I’m a rising junior at St. Lawrence University studying Conservation Biology and Spanish. This summer I will be working closely with Amber Roseberry and my advisor Rob Van Kirk collecting data for various projects and maintaining the infrastructure of field stations.

A rainbow trout waits to be measured at the Buffalo Fish Ladder.

Growing up in western New Hampshire has given me a profound appreciation for the natural world and the ecosystems that surround us. I have always loved being outside and learning about the plants and animals I see, so when I found out about the internships at Henry’s Fork Foundation I was very excited. Three weeks in, I can’t say that excitement has waned! I was struck upon arriving by how gorgeous Ashton, Island Park, and the surrounding area are. The land seems to stretch for miles and in every direction you turn there are new mountains on the horizon. I have seen so many herds of adorable cows and some of the most beautiful horses, not to mention the dazzling colors and impressive size of the trout here!

Views of Felt from the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

My past experiences in conservation have been informal and few. In high school I had the opportunity to go electrofishing and measure populations of brook trout in a stream by my school. My past two years at St. Lawrence have been full of 101 classes and general education requirements, but in the coming fall I will finally be able to dip my toes into the figurative (and literal) pools of the Adirondacks by taking courses on local fauna and freshwater ecosystems.

My position with the Henry’s Fork Foundation is my first internship experience and my first time working in a science-related field. So far I haven’t found a single thing to complain about! Each week I spend time collecting turbidity data on the Henry’s Fork and the South Fork, then test them all in our lab. I also spend time on Island Park Reservoir collecting water quality data like turbidity, temperature, and chlorophyll levels, as well as helping collect streamflow data with acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) units. In between each of these projects, its maintenance time! Just earlier this week Amber and I moved a solar panel for sonde charging at Big Springs to preserve the natural beauty for users of the boat launch area. There is always work to be done in the field and I look forward to getting out there and tackling it again!

A stonefly I befriended while reinstalling cattle fencing south of Harriman State Park (left) and moody skies south east of town (above).

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