Stuff I Do in Nags Head Woods

Hey there! I’m Mark, comin’ atcha with and update about my internship this semester.

Since august I have been interning at the Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve under the supervision of Aaron McCall and Jennifer Gilbreath. I can’t thank them enough for all of their support and guidance over the last few months and for making my time there enjoyable and for never letting me have a dull moment.

My time at the conservancy varies based on what needs to be done that day. Sometimes it involves dealing with invasive plant species, spending most of the day pulling and spraying. Other days I’m doing trail maintenance or planting game cameras throughout the preserve. For the most part though every day starts the same. I walk up the deck, say hi to Fergie the dog who’s normally just hanging around either outside or just inside the door, then take my place behind the desk and be there for visitors as they come in. Sometimes, if it’s early in the month, I’ll enter visitor log data for a few minutes while Aaron and Jennifer take care of their morning to do’s. Then for the most part I’ll head outside to work on the various things that need to be done.

Normally this means grooming trails or general maintenance tasks. So far this semester I have re-mulched the butterfly garden on the ADA trail, done some invasive plant management, hauled miscellaneous garbage to the dump because apparently some people consider Nags Head Woods their own personal dump, set game cameras, and most recently cleared the Town trail of pine cones for the upcoming Nags Head marathon. Currently I’m in the process of retrieving our dock that has floated away ever since someone so kindly cut the wire that holds it in place.

What I like the most about this internship is the time I get to spend outside. Nags Head Woods is a beautiful ecological preserve and I consider myself lucky to get to spend as much time as I do there.

First Day of Classes

This past week marked our first real week of classes. After a hardly deserved but much appreciated three day weekend of lazy beach days and thankfully not contracting norovirus, we met Tuesday morning at CSI for Econ, Coastal Management, and to decide on topics for our capstone research project.

Posing for a group selfie before the presentation at the CAB meeting. George looking extra dapper as always.

Tuesday night was our first community advisory board meeting. We met at the NC Coastal Federation building for dinner and a brief presentation on our experience on the outer banks thus far. Paris, Brett, Emily P., and Bianca all bravely took one for the team and gave the presentation. As Kurt would say, it was electric. After the presentation we mingled with the advisory board members over a dinner of stuffed portabellas and asparagus, kindly arranged by Lindsay to meet as many of our group’s varying dietary restrictions as possible.

Sunset over the sound behind CSI. On the Kurt scale of “toof” to “dopamine”, this sunset was a solid “big for the program”.

After dinner we left the Coastal Federation and went back into Manteo to enjoy the rest of our Tuesday evening. Here at the OBXFS we have taken a liking to several evening and night time activities. Sunsets at CSI, beach fires, and as Kurt would say just boolin’ at the

Amelia, Brett, Danielle, and Emily P. practice poor fire safety as they leave a most certainly flammable cardboard box of graham crackers way too close to the fire.

guest house have been the staple of many a night. Overall I think our first day of classes was a success.