By Chase Pansler
At Anastasia State Park, my duties as an intern include: helping the rangers with fencing, cleaning, upkeep, repairs and research into certain topics for the park. When I arrive, I drive to the shop and ask the rangers what they are up to. They give assignments and ask for help with current things they have to do. For example, I arrived at my internship one day and most of the park rangers were helping put a fence up that guarded a ditch in the park. The entire time at the park, I spent using the auger to dig holes for fence posts and leveling them.
Another time, I spent my time studying for a meeting I had with someone from the Lighthouse. I spent this time researching the shipwrecks that are in the park. I talked to Chuck Meide, the maritime archaeologist at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, and he is going to give me drawings as well as more info on the ships that were found inside the park. I actually got to visit one of the shipwrecks with Dean, a Park Ranger. When we visited the shipwreck, it was more just a pile of wood. The only way you could tell it was a shipwreck was by the metal cleat that was lying next to the wood. The cleat tells Chuck and Dean more about the ship than anything else.
Another thing I got do to in my internship was investigate the turtle nests that are in the park. One day, with Shelley Cox, we went out to examine a nest and count how many hatchlings it had. We pulled over 100 eggs out of the nest and about seventy percent had hatched. We also examined other nests in the area as well but couldn’t find the actual nest. This experience was incredible and something not many people get to do.