Bess Ruff '14

Even though I had spoken to past interns about their experiences with the Henry's Fork Foundation, I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I made the three-day trek across the country from Tupelo, Mississippi to Ashton, Idaho. Myself and the other interns lived in a beautiful house about ten minutes from the office, complete with a horse paddock, its two residents, and an incredible view of the Tetons. The first week of work found us on The Ranch portion of the Henry's Fork River helping a grad student employed by the foundation with the beginnings of his master's research project concerning the habitat preferences of adult rainbow trout. We helped him catch forty fish that he implanted with tracking devices so that we could locate them using telemetry gear later in the summer to conduct habitat surveys. In addition to helping with this graduate research, we finished up the electrofishing surveys leftover from last summer. A particularly memorable electrofishing excursion included an overnight camping trip with a pack of goats carrying all of our gear for us. The battery packs that go into the electrofisher are twenty pounds each so it was a much easier hike than we were used to. The experiences this summer were incredible, but what made the 2.5 months in Idaho truly unforgettable were the staff at HFF and the other interns that I lived with. I've been home for a week at the time of my writing this, and there hasn't been a day yet where I haven't spoken to, texted, or snapchatted at least two of the people I worked with this summer, staff and intern alike. A special shoutout goes to the intern wrangler, Matt Cahoon, for introducing us to the gloriousness that is Kookaburra licorice and teaching us the finer points of boat safety. I can wax poetic all day about my experience this summer, but instead I'll put my efforts into encouraging people to apply.


You might not know me, but you should trust me on this one. My time at W&L might be over, but if anyone has any questions whatsoever concerning the internship don’t hesitate to contact me.