SCIP had the privilege to spend time with Michael Quijano-West on a beautiful afternoon in Salem. When asked how the National Park Service reaches out to local communities Michael spoke openly about the need for diversity within the National Park Service. If we recognize and embrace our cultural values we can use this knowledge to understand others. We can work to establish a Service that reaches out to communities in meaningful ways that respect our multi-cultural society. He shared that change is difficult but we can be the agents of change.
Summer is just starting and the SCIP interns are off and running. This summer the interns will focus on A Call to Action choosing the items that relate to their own NPS journeys. Look for their updates here and on our Facebook page Mass Parks SCIP. Q
SCIP Intern Rich Hansen, Electircal Worker, is the newest Career Conditional employee at Lowell National Historical Park!
Rich is a Lowell native who first worked at the Park during the 2007-2008 school year as a co-operative education student from the Greater Lowell Technical High School. Rich was the first participant in the Trades Skills youth program designed for high school students studying trades to work alongside National Park Service employees in carpentry, electrical, mechanical and HVAC systems to gain practical experience under the guidance of a mentor working on historic resources. Rich earned 1,500 apprentice hours and 300 education hours towards his electrical license. Rich continued as a seasonal employee at the Park through 2011 when he was appointed as an Electrical Worker Trainee while working towards his degree in Energy Management.
Rich joined the Mass Parks Student Career Intake Program in 2011. Through his experiences Rich has embraced his role as an ambassador for the National Park Service, for Lowell National Historical Park and for youth in general. Rich performs regular electrical maintenance throughout the Park. He can often be seen talking with visitors while he is making energy upgrades such as installing energy efficient lighting and renewable energy systems along the trolley tracks and walkways throughout the Park. His work can also be seen atop the Boott Cotton Mills where he installed photovoltaic panels that provide renewable energy for lighting inside the building. Rich is a role model for young people in the Park. He mentors the electrical students in the Trades Skills program.
Since 2007 Rich’s experiences are building a solid base for his long term career as a professional in facilities maintenance and energy management in the National Park Service.
Happy Birthday!! National Park Service
Today, I got to celebrate the Founders Day with the Stewardship Team of Boston Harbor Island national recreation area. We held an stewardship program at Thompson Island, and a group of passionated and dedicated volunteers joined us.
In the morning, we had a invasive plant management project. Today, we focued on removing the buckthorns shrubs and bittersweeet shrubs, which threaten the native speices on Thompston Island. Managing the invasive species is an important strategy on restoring the native plant community on Boston Harbor Islands. Boston Harbor Islands are pieces of values wildlife environment because they provide people the opportunties to enjoy outdoor within a short distance from the Boston area. Children can learn about the mammals and plants while camping or visiting the islands.
After lunch, we participated a clam seeding project that led by Chris Schillaci, who is a fisheries technician from Massachusetts Division of Marin Fisheries. The clam seeding beds not only serve as a research purpose for the underwater system of Boston Harbor Islands, but also provide great opportunitis for youth to learn about marine science. During the summer, Thompson Island Outward Bound Edcation Center holds seeding clam project with youth groups, such as the Green Ambassadors.
Youth volunteer Sean and I were seeding 9000 soft shell clam on one of the clam seeding bed (Picture showed below). Each clam seeding bed was about 30ftX10ft. And the average size of the juvenile calms was about half an inch.
Youth volunteer Sean and I were holding the biggest quohog we found today. We enjoyed learning the marin species on the beach.We also found many razor clams while we were exploring the marine life on Thompson Island.
Pictures are credited to Susannah Corona, a biological science technician of the Stewardship Team.
National Park Service
SCIP Youth Summit
The Student Career Intake Program (SCIP) is a partnership program that involves youths from various Massachusetts NPS sites. Each year the SCIPers come together to host a youth summit to show appreciation to all the educational youth programs that are associated with the National Park Service/Environmental agencies. Since we are all youths it was a good idea for the SCIPers to host it because we are in the same age group.
Previous years I’ve been to the Youth Summits when I was part of an educational youth program in the summer and it was a bit dry. So this year we tried to make the day fun and interesting. On the day of the Youth Summit, the SCIPers introduced themselves letting everyone know who we are, what we do, and what park we work for. Then we followed it by calling out the other educational youth programs letting them introduce themselves and letting us know what they do.
We also hosted some important people during that day. For example Michael Quijano-West who is Superintendent of Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Michael has been the superintendent for only about six months. He gave us his knowledge and told his journey of how he got involved with the National Park Service and where it has taken him. Michael also gave us some words of wisdom and stressed that you at least finish school even if you’re not looking for a career in the Park Service. Education is an important tool. That is something I took from Michael because I constantly have to remind myself I won’t be able to go anywhere without it. Also superintendents Bruce Jacobson from BOHA and Celeste Bernardo from LOWE were in attendance as they have always showed their support to the program and continue to watch it grow.
As the day went by we got into a scavenger hunt activity to get the youth from the educational groups engaged with the SCIPers. The scavenger hunt activity was a bunch of questions in a table format that apply to the SCIPers. So if the question applied to any one of the SCIPs then they would put your name on that question till they fill up the board. When they were done they redeemed a ticket to enter the raffle for some cool prizes. Also during the day we had the World Café event. That event is where each group had a table with their poster board posted with pictures of what they did this summer. We had lunch from Subways which definitely raised the bar a bit. They were surprised as I was because I heard we were having box lunches but didn’t expect Subways to be it.
This year’s SCIP participants and last year’s participants definitely worked hard in coordinating the summit considering the fact that we were right on schedule with the agenda. The summit means a lot because it’s one of the big highlights for each year in SCIP. It demonstrates growth in terms of maturity but also guidance in knowing how to lead. The most important of all is how we bring the kids together to share their experience this summer and how they’ve left their host sites better than it was before. It’s a day also to acknowledge the folks who put the summit together in terms of raising enough money for the SCIPs to run the summit, but also for the youths who have been given a chance to work and learn at the same time. In all we had about a hundred and sixty kids participate at our Youth summit. We hope the success from this year’s summit continues on to next year.
On August 3rd, SCIP (Andrew, Resi, Jonathan, ShuMing and Dawn) had a special tour at Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence, RI.
Roger Williams NM is not like Saugus Iron Work National Historic Site with all the blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, warehouse; it is not like Boston Harbor Island National Park Area with 32 islands and 2 peninsulas; it is not like the Independence National Historical Park with the Liberty Bell. Roger Williams NM has no antiquity from Roger Williams, even his image. Roger Williams NM is so special that it has nothing visual of Roger Williams, but his IDEA: his idea of religious freedom.
Ranger John McNiff interpreted incredibly on Roger Williams’ IDEA. He first asked us to reflect on a 5-min video about Roger Williams in the Visitor Center. It made us to think what impact had Roger Williams leave for us. Then, John guided us to image the lifestyle and environment of Roger Williams’ time with a map of Rhode Island in 1600s. Roger Williams was a person like us from the history. Then, it came to the best part of our conversation with John McNiff. He connected the story of Roger Williams to Salem Maritime National Historic Site because he lived in Salem before moving to Rhode Island (SCIP Jonathan’s home site); Boston National Historical Park (SCIP Andrew’s home site), and Lowell National Historical Park (SCIP Resi’s home site). These connections made the story of Roger Williams alive, and also connected us with Roger Williams from 1600s.
SCIP learned a valuable lesson on how to share the ideas by connecting people between history and modern.
On August 2, 2012, SCIP (Andrew, Resi, Jonathan, ShuMing, and Dawn) met Marc Albert at Boston Harbor Island National Park Area. Marc is the Stewardship Program Director for Boston Harbor Island National Park Area, Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, and Salem Maritime National Historic Site.
In the morning, Marc gave us a presentation about natural resources management and the role of stewardship program in the park service. The Stewardship Program embodies the National Park Service’s mission, which “preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System.” The Stewardship Program utilizes science as a tool to preserve our parks and to make decision of managing our parks. Boston Harbor Island National Park Area is a special place with tremendous natural and cultural resources: special concern bird species, such as Least Terns and Common Terns; and the Fort Andrew in Peddocks Island, an active harbor defense fort from 1904 to the end of World War II.
In the afternoon, SCIP and Marc went to Lovells Island to learn about invasive plant management in the field. Our task was to pick the seed pods from black swallow-wort, a native species from Europe. Black swallow-wort is an herbaceous perennial from the milkweed family. As a result, monarch butterflies confuse with common milkweed and lay their eggs on black swallow-wort. Monarch larvae would die if they eat black swallow-wort. Picking the seed pods would prevent black swallow-wort from spreading. Managing the black swallow-wort not only protects the native plants on the Lovells Island, but also provides positive effects on monarch butterflies.
SCIP had a great time with Marc on Lovells Ilsand (1/34 islands in Boston Harbor Island National Park Area). We not only had a better understanding about the role of Stewardship Program in the National Park System, but also had the opportunities to preserve our park in the field.
The Mission of National Park Service:
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.
Info about Black Swallow-wart: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/cylo1.htm