Former Conservation Interns

Where are they now?

arn more about the amazing young conservationists who have spent time at Corkscrew as Conservation Interns along the course of their career paths. Here's what our former interns are doing now and what they think of when they reflect back on their time living and working in the swamp. 


Summer 2020

Man igniting prescribed fire

Favorite experience: Prescribed fire

Biggest surprise about the job: Diverse wildlife on trail cameras

Most memorable wildlife sighting: Prothonotary Warbler

Favorite swamp plant: Ghost orchid

"I loved every aspect of the internship. It challenged me, motivated me, and solidified that this is what I want to do for a career."



Spring/Summer 2020

(update coming soon!)    


Fall/Winter 2019-20


Current Position-

Wildlife Technician, Nemours Wildlife Foundation

Woman standing in swamp

Favorite experience: Wading bird surveying


Most essential piece of field gear: Binoculars


Biggest surprise about the job: The number of invasive plants in Florida


Most memorable wildlife sighting: A family of 4 panthers


Favorite swamp plant: Swamp lily


Most valuable new skill: Tractor driving


Best advice for a future intern: Make a habit of setting reminders, it will be your best friend



Fall/Winter 2019-20


Current Position-

Favorite swamp animal: Green Heron


Most essential piece of field gear: Multi-tool and wading boots


Most important lesson learned: Stay flexible to accommodate a shifting field schedule


Favorite experience: Wading bird surveys & minnow trapping


Most valuable new skill: Leading a field crew


Best advice for a future intern: Stay flexible, positive, and say 'yes' to every experience or training that you can be part of.



Summer/Fall 2019

Current Position-

Field Technician, Audubon's Everglades Science Center



Spring/Summer 2019



Spring/Summer 2019



Winter/Spring 2019

Current position: Hourly Technician, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Favorite experience: Fish surveys

Most essential piece of field gear: WATER!

Biggest surprise about the job: the number of species in South Florida

Most valuable new skill: Perseverence

Best advice for a future intern: Make the most of your time there! It is such a beautiful property so explore all you can!


Fall/Winter 2018-9


Current Position-

Lead Technician- Snail Kite Monitoring (Lake Okeechobee), Florida Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit

Favorite swamp animal: Sailfin Molly


Most memorable wildlife sighting: Southern Ringneck Snake


Most valuable new skill: Orienteering


Most important lesson learned: Always be aware of your surroundings!


Most essential piece of field gear: Buff


Best advice for a future intern: Take every opportunity offered to you during your time at Corkscrew. You never know what you're passionate about until you give it a try!


Fall/Winter 2018-9


Current Position-

Graduate Research Assistant, Dept of Biology, Ball State University

Biggest surprise about the job: Being waist deep in swamp water is pretty cool


Most memorable wildlife sighting: Seeing two male bobcats on the boardwalk


Favorite swamp animal: Everglade Snail Kite


Most valuable new skill: Being able to ID wading birds from a million miles away


Most essential piece of field gear: Multi-tool


Best advice for a future intern: Exploring the boardwalk in your spare time is one of the best ways to see wildlife


Fall/Winter 2018-9


Current Position-

Graduate Student, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of WIlliam & Mary

Favorite swamp animal: Roseate Spoonbill


Most valuable new skill: Figuring out how to fix things in the field


Favorite experience: Participating in prescribed burns


Most memorable wildlife sighting: Accidentally stepping on an alligator


Most essential piece of field gear: Sunglasses


Advice for future interns: Be open to new experiences- you may be surprised what you enjoy the most



Fall/Winter 2018-9


Current Position-

PhD student, Ecology and Evolution, Florida State University

Favorite experience: Wood Stork nest monitoring flight


Biggest surprise about the job: Opportunities to volunteer


Favorite swamp animals: Alligators and all snakes


Most important lesson learned: Never wear sandals within 5 ft of a fire ant mound


Most valuable new skill: Learning to identify macroinvertebrates to species


Best advice for a future intern: Whatever it means to you, make the most of your time here. Whether that is walking the boardwalk every chance you get or getting out of the Gator Hole every once in a while, enjoy your time here. It goes much faster than you think!



Spring/Fall 2018


Current Position-

M.S. Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Natural Resource Ecology and Management (Oklahoma State University)

Favorite experience: Driving the swamp buggy


Most essential piece of field gear: A hat!


Most important lesson learned: To have more confidence in myself


Most valuable new skill: Learning to identify plants very quickly


Most memorable wildlife sighting: The panther right outside the lab!


Biggest surprise about the job: A lot of working independently



Summer 2018


Current Position-

Sea Turtle Conservation Research Field Assistant, Osa Conservation, Costa Rica

Most memorable wildlife sighting: Seeing a Barred Owl staring me down wile on the job


Favorite swamp animal: Alligator


Most essential piece of field gear: Cap, but bring snacks and water!


Biggest surprise of the job: How much work goes into removing invasive plant species


Most valuable new skill: Being able to identify both native and non-native plant species


Best advice for a future intern: Take advantage of walking the boardwalk when you have time. Try to get familiar with both the plants and animals around you- it gives you a great sense of place.



Spring/Summer 2018


Current Position- 

Training Specialist II, Florida Park Service, District 3

Favorite experience: Watching the 2018 dry-season feeding frenzy


Biggest surprise about the job: Opportunities to network/volunteer


Favorite swamp animal: Peninsula Newt


Most memorable wildlife sighting: Seeing a panther chase deer


Most valuable new skill: Tolerating insects


Best advice for a future intern: Don’t take the boardwalk for granted and walk it as frequently as you can after work, you will regret not being out there enough when you leave. The Gator Hole is a great place for inner reflection, enjoy the Gator Hole while you’re there. Lastly, strike a pose in front of the trail cameras, it’s showtime baby!


Fall/Winter 2017-8


Current Position-

Wildlife Technician, Idaho Fish and Game

Favorite experience: Flying over Corkscrew for a Wood Stork survey, while the cypress were changing colors. It took my breath away!


Most essential piece of field gear: A hat, sunscreen, and a smile


Favorite swamp animal: Amphiuma


Most memorable wildlife sighting: Watching an alligator eating a turtle from the boardwalk


Most valuable new skill: Being able to handle and identify fish


Best advice for a future intern: Come ready to learn. There are so many wonderful people here ready to share what they know- try to take it all in.



Fall/Winter 2017-8


Current Position-

Trails Crew, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Favorite experience: Watching a sunset from the backcountry observation deck


Most essential piece of field gear: Sunglasses and a hat


Biggest surprise about the job: How important vehicles are to land management in a wetland ecosystem


Most memorable wildlife sighting: Seeing a Florida Panther dash across a road at Panther Island


Most valuable new skill: How to select which herbicide for a specific plant based on its growth characteristics


Best advice for a future intern: Get yourself out of the Gator Hole on the weekends and go explore



Summer 2017



Summer 2017


Current Position-

M.S. Student, Florida Gulf Coast University

Favorite experience: herp survey


Most essential piece of field gear: stick for fending off spiders


Most important lesson learned: don't be afraid to try new things!


Most valuable new skill: how to correctly record scientific data


Most memorable wildlife sighting: Everglades mink


"In a matter of months, I learned so many skills that will follow me throughout my life. The people I met and formed friendships with are people who I know I can rely heavily on. I continue to do volunteer work at Corkscrew because I love it so much!"



Spring/Summer 2017


Current Position-

M.S. Graduate Student in Geographic Information Science & Technology (University of Southern California)



Winter/Spring 2017


Current Position-

Environmental Staff Scientist, Geosyntec Consultants (Greenville, SC)

Favorite swamp animal: Swallow-tailed Kite


Favorite experience: surveying the Central Marsh Transect


Most essential piece of field gear: water bottle with ice


Biggest surprise about the job: the variety of responsibilities


Most important lesson learned: take care of your physiological needs in the heat


"Take as many opportunities that are presented to you as possible in this internship to learn and grow as a professional."


Fall/Winter 2016-7


Current Position-

Biological Science Technician, US Forest Service

Favorite experience: seeing a Florida Panther


Most essential piece of field gear: a good hat


Favorite swamp animal: Crested Caracara


Most important lesson learned: always make a checklist


If someone is coming to live in The Gator Hole they should be sure to pack: lots of books



Fall/Winter 2016-7


Current Position-

Piping Polver Technician, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

Favorite experience: rediscovering the Central Marsh Transect


Biggest surprise about the job: the lasting satisfaction after a hard day at work


Most memorable wildlife sighting: Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake


Most valuable new skill: operating and maintaining a variety of vehicles


Most important lesson learned: you can accomplish more than you think possible if you have confidence in your own abilities


"This internship gave me the skills, and more importantly the confidence, to go after the jobs I wanted"



Spring/Summer 2016


Current Position-

M.S. Student, Florida Atlantic University

Favorite experience: swamp walk!


Biggest surprise about the job: the amount of independence I would have


Most memorable wildlife sighting: meeting panthers on my way out to do laundry :)


Most valuable new skills: plant identification and navigation


Favorite swamp animal: Swallow-tailed kite


Best advice for a future intern: Ask as many questions as you can. You will have an amazing group of mentors and you are here to learn!



Spring/Summer 2016


Current Position-

Restoration Technician, Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, San Diego State University

Favorite experience: Wood Stork monitoring flight

Most essential piece of field gear: extra water bottles!!

Most valuable new skill: basic maintenance on equipment


Biggest surprise about the job: how many different opportunities/things we were able to do and be a part of.


Favorite swamp animal: Snowy Egret


Most important lesson learned: Jump at every opportunity, even if you're afraid of it because you never know when you'll get a second chance.



Fall/Winter 2015-6


Current Position-

Graduate Research Assistant (M.S.), Integrative Biology, Oklahoma State University

Most essential piece of field gear: more water than you think you need!

Biggest surprise about the job: the wide range of experiences offered

Most memorable wildlife sighting: Florida Panther

Favorite swamp animal: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Most valuable new skill: training and supervising volunteer crews with projects (invasive species removal)

"Never be afraid to ask questions if you are uncertain about a task or when you want to learn and understand more about a project or the area you are working in."



Fall/Winter 2015-6


Current Position-

Intern, Everglades BioCorps

Favorite swamp animal: Little Blue Heron


Most memorable wildlife sighting: seeing a Sora


Most important lesson learned: fire ants bite


Most valuable new skill: navigation


Biggest surprise about the job: the pure enjoyment


"This internship had wonderful elements from diversity, leadership development to personal responsibilities. Moreover, I believe that whoever completes it becomes part of a legacy of future conservationists, educators, and researchers."



Summer 2016


Current Position-

Biological Aide, Clearwater Fish Hatchery, Idaho Fish & Game

Favorite experience: getting to drive the swamp buggy


Most essential piece of field gear: a good pair of boots (waterproof if possible, even though it probably won't matter) as you spend a lot of time walking around in the swamp


Most memorable wildlife sighting: Florida Black Bear


Favorite swamp animal: Alligator- never get tired of seeing them


Most important lesson learned: If you're not 100% sure if you're doing something correctly, it's probably wrong and you should probably ask for help.



Spring/Summer 2015


Current Position-

Wildlife Technician, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Most essential piece of field gear: a good sense of humor! And enough water


Most memorable wildlife sighting: finding a scorpion tangled in my hair after a day of work


Favorite swamp plant: Swamp Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus)


Most valuable new skill: learning invasive species on the go


"See and learn about the Everglades as much as possible, they are literally one of a kind! And don't poke a gator with a stick!"



Spring/Summer 2015


Current Position-

Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Audubon Rockies

Favorite experience: prescribed fire

Most essential piece of field gear: rubber boots

Favorite swamp plant/animal: river otter


Advice for future interns: Explore the Sanctuary and surrounding areas as much as possible. Also, read "A Land Remembered."



Fall/Winter 2014-5


Current Position-

M.S. Student, Landscape Architecture-Restoration Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Biggest surprise about the job: it went by too quickly


Most essential pieces of field gear: machete, water bottle

Best wildlife sighting: panther!


"This internship allows you to push yourself, to work with new people, and to really get out of your comfort zone to try new things. Working at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary has been one of my favorite internships and I would go back in a heartbeat!"



Winter/Spring 2014


Current Position-

Restoration Technician, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Favorite experience: Being able to explore the property to its fullest extent, and seeing things most people who visit the sanctuary do not get to see


Most essential piece of field gear: Long-sleeved shirt, it will protect you from the sun and poison ivy


Most memorable wildlife sighting: Bear cubs


Most important lesson learned: Be prepared for anything


Best advice for a future intern: Enjoy the experience, hard work is rewarding in the end. Go explore Naples, Ft. Myers, and surrounding areas. There are numerous parks and sights to see.



Winter/Spring 2014


Current Position-

Park Ranger, Highlands Hammock State Park (Florida)

Most valuable new skill: everything having to do with prescribed fire

Best wildlife sighting: black bear cubs on the boardwalk!

Most important lesson learned: be very careful when using a chainsaw on a tree with poison ivy vine...


Favorite experience: swamp walks and seeing what awesome critters we "captured" with our trail cameras


Favorite swamp plant: buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)



Fall/Winter 2013-4


Current Position-

Fisheries & Wildlife Biological Scientist II (Babcock Webb Wildlife Management Area), Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Favorite experience: setting up camera trap array


Biggest surprise about the job: frequent wildlife sightings


Favorite swamp plant: Swamp Hibiscus


Most valuable new skill: Swamp buggy operation


"My internship at CSS was a key stepping stone in my career as a wildlife biologist in Florida. I can't say enough about how supportive everyone was and how much I took away from the experience."



Fall/Winter 2013-4


Current Position-

 Program Specialist, University of Georgia - Camp Jekyll

Most valuable new skill: learning about general land management practices- I’ve definitely had to reflect back on what I learned during this internship in each job I’ve had after

Most essential piece of field gear: pocket knife

Best wildlife sighting: an adult male panther...SO COOL!!!!

Biggest surprise about the job: how much fun it would be!!!


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