Audubon Internships, Preparing the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders

By Sydnee Peterman, Junior at Florida State University and Former Communications Intern

Audubon Florida has a reputation for defending natural Florida, fighting for conservation, and creating a stronger environmental future in our beautiful Sunshine State. Working in the state policy office, I’m now witnessing first-hand what it takes to effectively support statewide conservation in an ever-evolving state. As a public relations student at Florida State University, I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to work in my area of study and apply my coursework to real-life issues.

Growing up in the Tampa Bay area, I am starting to see how Audubon’s conservation efforts apply in my own hometown. I’m now learning that the scenic beaches and sand dunes with bold “Keep Out” signs were intended to protect and conserve the limited beauty our state has left; not to move my monthly beach picnics. My appreciation for Florida’s special places has grown in realizing just how beautiful and precious each and every unique ecosystem is in Florida. I’ve lived in Florida my entire life and didn’t know much about the gem just south of my hometown: America’s Everglades. Audubon’s team of policy experts and scientists have taught me that America’s Everglades are unlike any other wildlife ecosystem in the world. This magical place is full of beautiful species like the Roseate Spoonbill and Great Egrets.

Now entering my senior year at Florida State, I will take the knowledge and experiences while interning at Audubon and apply each to being a well-informed conservationist, Floridian, and professional. We only have one planet and I’m grateful for the privilege I’ve had working to conserve the resources near and dear to my hometown and Florida.

What Other Audubon Interns Are Saying...

"Interning with the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland has been the most challenging but rewarding experience! I've learned so much in just a few months but it will last me a lifetime. I love working with passionate people who do what they love and do it exceptionally well!" "A sanctuary as large as Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary has a surprising number of moving parts – land management, policy, research, outreach, and more. As an intern, I have mentors from every aspect of refuge management and the experience has been unparalleled for professional development." "Working at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples has allowed me to gain a newfound appreciation and scientific understanding of our natural world. I feel that the wide variety of job responsibilities will thoroughly prepare me for a future career in environmental science."
Paige Hansen, Senior at Rollins College Kristina Hsu, Recent Graduate of American University Nicholas Charles, Recent Graduate of University of Central Florida

This article and more are featured in the Spring 2017 edition of Audubon Florida's Naturalist magazine. 

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