Final Thoughts

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 12:45pm

Author: 

Sam Cochran

As my final week at HFF comes to a close, I am starting to think a lot about my experiences this summer and how they will shape my character in the future. I have learned so much and heard from so many different perspectives that I feel like I am coming out of this summer with a completely new mindset about conservation and natural resource management. I have worked alongside some incredible people at HFF, and I hope to carry the lessons they have taught me forward as I continue to learn about and pursue conservation issues.

My project this summer was to gather information about all of the sites on HFF’s Angler Access Map and compile it into an accessible, user-friendly document to post on the website. This project allowed me to explore the full length of the Henry’s Fork Watershed and visit areas that I would have never gotten to see otherwise. I put a lot of time into the formatting and design of the guide as well, and am very proud of the finished product. It will be available on the website for public use soon!

Aside from my own personal project, the many ongoing projects and studies at HFF have been exciting and rewarding to be a part of. Studies such as Water Quality and Turbidity Persistence have shown me how important field work is to the scientific process; these studies over time can help us come one step closer to understanding the world around us. Getting to work around talented scientists all summer has been a privilege, and I have learned so much about fish biology, hydrology, and water quality from simply being around the office.

As a resident of the East Coast, one of the greatest parts of this internship for me has been living in a place with such incredible natural resources. I have had the opportunity to go hiking, fishing, and camping many times in the immediate area surrounding Ashton and Island Park, and I have been able to venture to other awesome places such as Yellowstone and Jackson Hole. Having access to resources like this is not something I’m used to, and it has made this summer even more exciting and rewarding for me.

I will hold on to the memories I have made here for the rest of my life, and hopefully I have a chance to make it back out here again soon. I plan to continue learning more about conservation after I leave, and hopefully I will be able to continue working in this field once I graduate. Organizations such as HFF are becoming increasingly important as we try to preserve the things we love amidst the changing world around us.

 

I leave for home on Friday and have way too much to do before heading back to school. I wish I could spend just a little more time here and cross a few more things off my list, but I guess that is just another reason to come back to the area as soon as I can. I am so grateful for all of the experiences I have had and the knowledge I have gained during my time here, and none of it would have been possible without the Knight family or the Henry’s Fork Foundation. I am forever thankful to both for providing me with such a great summer. I would not trade my time here for anything and can say with complete confidence that it was time well spent.