Internship experience of Ronja Seitz in Latvian Fund for Nature: Grassland habitat inventory and management
Ronja Seitz trained as an intern with Latvian Fund for Nature for three months in 2022, in a position of a habitat inventory and management intern for grasslands in GrassLIFE project. Her knowledge on grassland restoration and monitoring of restoration effectiveness as well as her skills in grassland plant species identification improved considerably during internship time, and also she created a positive impression with other team members and farmers.
Ronja Seitz: "I study Geography at a university in Germany. In this program an internship is mandatory and because of COVID-19 I was looking for an opportunity to gather experience working outside, so I do not need to sit in front of the screen anymore. Doing an internship abroad is not very common at my university but to me it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get more intercultural knowledge and also work experience.
During the internship I got insights in the processes of an EU funded LIFE project, for example the inclusion of the general public and of the farmers. I learned how to monitor grasslands by taking vegetation samples, by plant identification and by counting special plants like Yellow Rattle (Rinanthus) and Gladiolus (Gladiolus imbricatus). Furthermore, I could use my knowledge in GIS and Remote Sensing to start an application based photo monitoring and detect flooded meadows. What I liked most of the workdays was that I could see many different semi-natural meadows during their most beautiful time of the year. For example, in the summer when Gladiolus were blooming."
"In my free time I explored Latvia. The hottest summer days, I spent at the Baltic Sea which is just half an hour of Riga by train. I also went on hikes in the Ķemeri and Gauja National parks, which are also accessible by train or bus. One of the highlights was the intern excursion to the western part of Latvia. On those two days I saw a lot of Latvia which I would have not seen otherwise, like the broadest waterfall of Europe in Kuldīga.
This internship helped me a lot to decide on my plans for the future, which I hope that Nature Conservation will still be a big part of," tells Ronja Seitz.