By Dylan Shoemaker, Preserve Manager
Here at the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve our goals are to protect our cultural resources along with conserving and preserving the natural ecosystems.
One of the ways we are able to enhance public appreciation for natural and cultural diversity is by involving the local schools. This is the first year we have been involved with the Florida High School High Tech Summer Internship program and it has been a great partnership.
We have been honored to have Carl Sheline for our summer intern. Mr. Sheline has done a great job with everything he has been involved in. He has gotten to know the inner workings of the Preserve, such as: he has learned how this land was formed, the past history of this area, how the Native Americans used the land along with why the land became a State Buffer Preserve, and how it plays a big part in our effort to restore our ecosystems.
During his time at the Preserve, Mr. Sheline was involved with many aspects of the Preserve, from facility maintenance to equipment and shop upkeep, learning how and why we study water sheet flow movement, other water quality studies, to locating rare and endangered plant communities, and learning how prescribed burning plays an important part in creating conditions that are ideal for these plants to thrive and survive. Mr. Sheline has been involved with all of it and has enjoyed it.
Mr. Sheline had the opportunity to work with all the staff and volunteers within the Preserve and learn from each one of them. He has demonstrated his commitment and his valuable team working skills which led to a good working relationship with everyone.
Mr. Sheline has contributed approximately 120 volunteer hours at St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve during his internship. Mr. Sheline is an outstanding volunteer, he accomplished tasks in a timely manner and it was an honor to have him volunteering for the Florida Coastal Office and St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve.