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Careers in Science 

December 21, 2009

Project Groups!

Interns have been working on four projects for the fall semester of the Intern Program. We refer to them as ‘Project Groups,’ which is a small group of interns that work on a project for the Intern Program. We use project groups so that everyone gets to work as a team to reach a common goal and get a defined understanding of a specific subject. Project Groups can work on things like making new stations, learning new skills, or the Intern Program’s newsletter. The four projects that are in progress now are Extreme Mammals, Parasites, Entomology, and Newsletter.

The Extreme Mammals and Parasites Project Group are on their way to becoming new demonstration stations for the interns. We have five stations that we presently teach on the public floor; Food Webs Demonstration, Beetle Dichotomous Key Station, Limb Homology Interactive, Penguin Interpreter, and Touch Tank. All of these stations relate to the Academy’s mission statement to explore, explain, and protect the natural world. The Extreme Mammals group will be about extinct, extreme, or big, California Mammals. The Parasites group will be about different types and kinds of parasites that affect ecosystems. They have and are going through several revisions so that they’re ready to be taught on the floor.

The third project group was created because of our trip to Trinity Alps this past July where we collected insects and other organisms with Roberta Brett from the education department. The Entomology group is helping Roberta identify and pin the specimens collected from this trip. The majority of the specimens are insects, but we also have some spiders and larvae included. Once all of it is sorted through, it will be added to the Academy’s entomology collection. This project also relates to our Beetle Dichotomous Key Station where we help guest identify beetles from different parts of the world, but instead the interns are using their knowledge of the dichotomous key to identify the specimens collected.project-groups-jp

Finally there’s Newsletter group. I’m apart of newsletter this semester and have helped put together the fall edition of Spotlight.


By Jasmine

Filed under: Conducting Science,Group Building,Uncategorized — CiS Interns @ 5:43 pm

August 26, 2009

Trip to Pepperwood

Cutting invasive seed headsOne of the Intern Program’s biggest events of the year is our annual trip to Pepperwood; that is used not only to build bonds of friendship and teamwork between the newly hired interns and the veterans of the program but also to reinforce the camaraderie that the program shares as a whole. This year’s trip took place from June 18th through the 20nd and was the first big trip for the 6 new interns hired this year.

At Pepperwood there is never a dull moment. Whether we are kicking around a soccer ball, going on a hike to a vernal pool, or engaging in one of the many energetic group building activities planned for the trip, everyone enjoys their time there. The numerous events that populated our trip were not only fun but also educational, teaching us how to work with each other outside of work but also in simulated work environments.

At the California Academy of Sciences, we strive to maintain a sustainable lifestyle, often times trying to leave any place we use in a better condition than how we found it. We attempt to accomplish this at Pepperwood by working on a restoration project to renovate the surrounding landscape. This year’s project involved collecting native grass seeds and eliminating seed heads of an invasive species. This helps to preserve not only any native species that are endemic to that area but also the many animals that rely on that specific plant directly or indirectly.

Playing a game of "Shark Island"On our last night we were treated to a private showing at the Hume Observatory at Pepperwood. Above all, this was the most spectacular event of the whole trip. Far away from the soft glow of San Francisco, we were able to see many stars, planets, and objects in the night sky we had never observed before.

After our long ride back to the Academy, everyone was glad to be home, but the exciting time we had at Pepperwood is something we look back on even now as a defining event in our intern career. Hopefully next year’s trip can live up to the expectations that have been made by this year’s. All we can do is wait expectantly for the new batch of interns to be selected.

Filed under: Community Service,Group Building,Trips — CiS Interns @ 1:08 pm

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