My name is Reika Hiroi and I just started working as a park-based intern for this summer. Today is our third day of orientation and starting tomorrow, I will be stationed at Adams National Historical Park. This is my first time working with the Branching Out program and I am very excited for this summer! Just one month ago I finished my first year at Brown University. Though I am officially undecided in terms of my major, I have an interest in the biological sciences and want to pursue them further next semester. Inmy free time, I like to listen to music and watch movies. In college, I play the cello and participate in a student-run orchestra and a chamber ensemble.
I initially became interested in this internship because working with plants and trees in the outdoors sounded very exciting! Also, since I am interested in the life sciences, I thought this internship would be extremely appropriate for gaining some field experience and applying my academics to my job. I first became interested in agriculture and horticulture in my senior year of high school when I participated in a hydroponics service learning project. We attempted to grow tomatoes and watermelons inside the classroom using an ebb-and-flow reservoir system. That experience taught me a lot of things about growing plants and using technology to record data on parameters like temperature, pH, and nutrient content. Last semester in college, I took an introductory ecology course and learned many things about the preservation of nature and ecosystems and the important ecological relationships that take place within them. This course was really interesting and rewarding and I learned so many things about the natural world.
This summer, I hope to learn more new things such as gardening and how to use the different types of equipment at Adams Park. I would also like to gain insight on the different aspects of landscape management and hopefully find a possible career interest through this internship. I am also looking forward to learning about the history of the park and its previous owners.