This summer, wildlife management sophomore Justin Carpenter spent over a month in the Swedish Lapland as an intern at Tjounajokk fishing camp. The camp, located north of the Arctic Circle, is renowned for its remote, scenic beauty and trophy-sized grayling fish. Carpenter gained first-hand experience in the realm of ecotourism through this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What where your duties as an intern?
My duties varied from day to day. I was in charge of the recycling, filling of the gas tanks for the boats, and keeping the camp clean. I would often serve in the restaurant and kitchen, chop wood, and even help taxi guests to fishing destinations. While I was there, I was able to help restore a traditional Sami sod house. The Sami are the indigenous people of the region. My most important duty was providing the guests of the fishing camp with an outstanding experience in one of the last true wildernesses on Earth.
How was this experience beneficial to your undergraduate career?
By traveling to a different country, I learned about different resource management practices first hand. In Sweden, they have implemented a minimum and maximum length on their harvested fish. This practice has improved the quality of fish in the past 10 years.
What was your favorite aspect of the internship?
My favorite part of the internship was hands down getting to fish. It was absolutely amazing to be able to reel in a monster grayling while being in the shade of mountains.
How did you learn about the internship?
Brendan Leland came to my Forestry 111 class to speak about his internship experience in Tjounajokk. He then explained that if we were interested in going on this internship we must contact Dr. Hans Williams. After sending Dr. Williams a letter of intent, I scheduled an interview with him to go over what was expected of me if I was accepted. I then began having a dialogue between Dr. Williams and Mr. Björklöf, the camp’s owner, about me going. I encourage anyone thinking about taking an internship to just do it. Find something that is different and apply for it. Never let fear of the unknown hold you back.