South Dakota State Government

Forest Health Intern

May - August 2020 • Rapid City, SD

What I liked

I loved the freedom I had to explore as much as I could. I spent many of my days scrambling over boulders in Custer State Park searching for Limber Pine for my supervisor. I was able to core trees to tell their age and found a few that were 180 years old. I also got to monitor for and experience the tragedy that the Ips beetle is having on the trees in Custer State Park. One of my favorite things was seeing the amazing wildlife while working. My favorite sighting was a baby mountain goat that was literally 10 feet away from me.

What I wish was different

The only thing I wish would've been different is that because of COVID I was restricted to what I was able to do. It was completely understandable and I am glad I was able to do my job safely, but I wish the circumstances were different.


Always say yes to work opportunities. My supervisor would give me some amazing opportunities to climb rocks to reach a tree or see something cool.
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