Imagine a job where you start your day by filling feeders for wild birds, then help to plan an after-school lesson for fourth graders, then recommend some hiking trails for visitors to the Fields Pond Audubon Nature Center. Next, you take a canoe trip, paddling out on the pond to monitor a loon nest. Finally you head to downtown Bangor to teach an environmental education after-school program. It’s all in a day’s work for Amanda Ives, the 2022 Fields Pond Audubon Center’s intern.
Amanda joined us at Fields Pond during the spring of 2022 while she was finishing up her junior year as a wildlife ecology major at the University of Maine, Orono. She first learned about the internship position during a field trip to Fields Pond her freshman year. “My family would always visit Audubon sanctuaries where I grew up, going for hikes in the outdoors. That’s where I got hooked on nature,” says Amanda.
Now a senior, Amanda will be wrapping up her Fields Pond internship this month so she can devote her spring semester to her senior capstone project. “I’ve really enjoyed my experience at Fields Pond. No two days were the same,” says Amanda. “I especially enjoyed monitoring our loon nesting platform. It was great to see the entire nesting process of these birds, from their spring courtship and nest building, to rearing and fledging their chick!” (Read more about our loon restoration project here.)
As a wildlife ecology major, Amanda’s interests are primarily focused on critters with fur, scales, or feathers. But she also values the time she spent at Fields Pond working with young people. “Getting kids excited about nature is so very important for future conservation,” says Amanda. “I valued the opportunity to be a role model for our local elementary and high schoolers.” From summer camps to school outreach programs, Amanda’s knowledge and creativity played an important role in the delivery of strong content in our youth programs this past year.
Since 2014, the Fields Pond Audubon Center’s internship program has been made possible by the generosity of Ron and Lee Davis, retired faculty members at the University of Maine. Ron and Lee wanted to help create more environmental education opportunities for local youth in the Bangor region. Their support has enabled the Fields Pond Center to do more outreach with local schools and has impacted countless numbers of students.
As we say goodbye to 2022 and get ready to welcome the new year, we wish Amanda all the best in her future pursuits! We are certainly sad to see her go but are looking forward to welcoming a new intern in 2023. If you’d like more information on the Fields Pond internship program, please contact Fields Pond Audubon Center Manager David Lamon at email@example.com.