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Stewards Individual Placement Program

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Geoscientists-In-The-Parks Intern Laurel Mundy Illustrates Natural Resource Science

GIP_Laurel-Mundy_CAJay-Flyer_Newsletter_04-2019.jpg#asset:903:newsFullThe Canada Jay citizen science outreach flyer Laurel designed and illustrated for the avian team. Biologists will display this flyer throughout the community, to get locals involved in NPS research on Canada Jays.


Laurel Mundy recently finished a three-month AmeriCorps term at Denali National Park & Preserve with the Geoscientists-in-the-Parks Program.  

“During my term as the science communication intern, I have completed a variety of interpretive, outreach, and graphic design projects for the resources team at Denali National Park. Most of my work involved creating illustrations, graphics, and other means of visual communication to aid park staff in communicating research and other vital information to the public. I worked with many park staff including the avian biologist, wolf biologist, entomologist, social scientist, geologist, and museum curator to create custom original content for their needs or to update existing science communication content. One of my largest and favorite projects was to complete an entire 31”x 43” illustrated interpretive kiosk poster, detailing the life cycle, ecology, and ongoing research of Canada Jays in the park. Another project I am most proud of is my technical illustration of the ongoing landslide in the Pretty Rocks region of Denali-- impacting the park road and requiring mitigation funding--which my illustration was designed to communicate to non-scientists in Congress. 

Natural resource management in Denali is a complicated affair requiring a huge amount of time and effort from its devoted resources team. Due to the time-consuming nature of their work, not much time is left for scientists to spend on public outreach or visual information projects—a vital part of conservation if you hope to get the public on board. I have learned that a position like my own is able to bridge the gap between those scientists who are on the ground and have all the information, and the visual/interpretation side of the park, which is generally physically separated from the resources team and thus they may not know all of the science communication needs that exist. 

After my term ends, I plan to continue working on science communication projects, working as a freelance illustrator. I hope to keep in touch with my new contacts at Denali and broaden my scope into working with various national parks in a science communication capacity.” 

Check out more of Laurel’s work on her website, laurelmundy.com or Instagram page, tinyhousebigwoods