This past week has been very meaningful and memorable. A lot of movement occurred at work, I have been receiving a good amount of feedback on my work, and I am beginning to wrap up my deliverables and start on the finishing touches. As in, turning my rough drafts into final drafts and making everything I have gathered more presentable and easier to look through! In addition, I have decided to do a poster presentation in Denver and have been working on my poster!

This week I also got to meet Daniel, our intern supervisor! I had been looking forward to this site visit for weeks! Daniel has become a true friend to me throughout this summer. He has provided an immense amount of support and I know I can always count on him when I have a question or concern. I am happy I got to show him around my site and talk to him about all of my assignments. His adventurous spirit and positive attitude has really inspired me to keep working hard!

We got to sit down with my supervisor, who is also the Deputy Superintendent of the four parks in the East Bay region. She gave us really great wisdom and encouraged us to pursue our dreams no matter what other people say and think. She is fearless! One of the things that really stood out about our conversation with her was that she reminded us to always show up, be present, and to work hard. She mentioned how everyone picks up on your energy, and you make a difference, no matter what, as long as you work hard. I really believe that the National Park Service (NPS) fosters friendships. Within the agency and beyond, with partners like EFTA. Which is why it is important to be nurturing these friendships, and I know I will be keeping in touch with many people I have met this summer.


Written by Ilianna Padilla
My name is Ilianna Padilla and I am a graduate student at Cal State Long Beach studying Environmental Geography. I love all things wild, being in the outdoors, and traveling. What sparked my interest in nature was reading literature that fed my imagination with beautiful descriptions of wild landscapes that seemed so distant for someone who grew up in a densely urban environment like myself. This is why I want to continue working towards connecting people with the outdoors because I believe that it is crucial to our own well being as well as the health of the natural environment. In the future, I hope to have a career in the National Park Service or run my very own nonprofit organization. This summer I hope to gain a deeper insight on all the great things the National Park Service foes as well as take part in their mission of becoming more relevant to all communities.