Internship at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

By: Hardian Agustin

I had been given a fruitful and rare opportunity to experience living and studying in GREAT DISMAL SWAMP NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SUFFOLK VIRGINIA, USA.

US. Department of The Interior-International Technical Assistance Program (ITAP) is providing technical assistance to Sebangau National Park under strengthening Indonesian National Park management and wildlife protection project, funded by the USAID. Under this project, Great Dismal Swamp and Sebangau National Park have signed a sister protected area arrangement dated January 7, 2016 in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan.

Installing groundwater monitoring wells

Installing groundwater monitoring wells

The approved statement of work 2017 includes an opportunity for a six-week staff exchange in hydrology and hydrological restoration for a Sebangau Staff person at Great Dismal Swamp.

The purpose of this staff exchange is to provide a professional development opportunity that will strengthen the knowledge and skill in park management. It is also intended to provide Great Dismal Swamp staff with an understanding of park management approaches in Indonesia that may strengthen management of Great Dismal Swamp as well.

Hydrology presentation and Sebangau National Park at a glance in Christoper Newport University

Hydrology presentation and Sebangau National Park at a glance in Christoper Newport University

My activities in Great Dismal Swamp include learning hydrological monitoring such as introduction to water budgets, measuring streamflow, installing groundwater monitoring wells, field data collection techniques, assisting with elevation surveys, analysis of hydrologic data, surface elevation change , measuring soil respiration, measuring groundwater quality, red-cockaded woodpecker (rcw), water level management, canal blocking, birding festival, hydrologi presentation, canal blocking ceremony.

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I am honored and grateful to have experience a rare journey of learning peatland and hidrology, it is not easy job to preserve peatland with it’s unique and exotic characteristics. However, fueled by high spirit to work and serve, it is not imposible to do so. Thank you US DOI-ITAP, USAID and Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

“Never stop learning and never give up for your dream”.