Sarah attended a summer camp at the Audubon Naturalist Society when she was younger and wanted to return as an employee. She was drawn to their internships because they all had an environmental focus. The internship gave her insight into the variety of work that falls under the environmental science category, specifically at a local non-governmental organization. Her courses at Ursinus prepared her with an understanding of water policies and biology concepts that she needed for the internship. The purpose of Sarah’s internship was to raise awareness for the Audubon Naturalist Society’s Creek Critters app, which analyzes stream health based on microinvertebrates that participants have found in their local stream. Some of her daily tasks were planning events for Creek Critters, contacting other environmental organizations, creating social media posts, and helping participants identify microinvertebrates. Her overall goal was to increase the popularity of this app and learn more about stream health and microinvertebrates for her own knowledge.
Sarah improved her research, communication, and public speaking skills during her internship. Her involvement in the Creek Critters app required her to embark in technological research as well as biological research. She also guided several outreach events by teaching visitors about the Audubon Naturalist Society, through which she utilized communication and public speaking.
Who I Met that Made a Difference
Sarah’s supervisor was incredibly helpful throughout her internship, specifically with teaching her everything she needed to know about running citizen science programs. She was also inspired by the volunteers she worked with because of their willingness to share their connections in the field. Many of the volunteers suggested other organizations Sarah could get involved with in the future.
The Coolest Part of the Experience
Being able to travel around Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia was one of Sarah’s favorite parts of her internship. She was able to test the stream health in these areas, as well as meet environmentalists from other organizations by attending events. It was cool for Sarah to see how astonished people were at their success with the microinvertebrates research because it proved to her that her work as an intern was making a difference, even beyond her internship site.
“Take initiative while applying to an internship, even if you aren’t confident that you’re qualified for the position. Demonstrating persistence and checking in with the organization even when you’re hesitant may be what differentiates you from other candidates and ensures you the position.”