CBEC’s Summer Internship Program

By Katey Nelson, Education Coordinator

Summer is a very busy season at CBEC. From summer camps to ongoing restoration and research projects, there is more than enough work for CBEC staff in this season. Luckily, we hire a team of college interns to supplement our staff each summer. These internships are extremely valuable for both parties – CBEC staff are able to provide hands-on (and feet wet!) environmental education programs to over 330 campers and more than 20 visiting groups, as well as make important progress in restoration and research projects – while interns gain valuable career-related training and networking that will help them in their current and future studies. Read on to learn more about our interns’ summer so far!

If you know a current college student who might be interested in interning with us next summer or throughout the school year, please have them check out information about internship opportunities here: https://www.bayrestoration.org/college-internships. Contact Katey for environmental education internships at knelson@bayrestoration.org and Greg Usilton for restoration internships at gusilton@bayrestoration.org. For general volunteer opportunities, apply online: https://www.bayrestoration.org/volunteer-2.

CBEC’s Environmental Education summer interns. From left: Jerry Yang, Bryce Williamson, Nora Jacobson, and Katie Kavanagh.

Meet the 2018 Summer Interns!

Jerry Yang: My role as an intern this summer is to help lead and manage the summer camp program at CBEC, as well as assisting with any other work that may arise there. My favorite experience so far this summer was visiting several locations along the Chesapeake Bay during travel camp week. One thing I have learned and continue to practice is accounting for what the audience knows when teaching a complicated subject, or simply having respect for the audience’s various backgrounds.

Bryce Williamson: This summer, I have mainly worked as a head camp counselor, but my other responsibilities have ranged widely from logistical tasks (like making name tags) to keeping the property clean and lesson planning. My favorite experience so far was running a lesson on birding, especially with the older group of campers (grades 3–6). I am continually improving at planning and executing lessons, and it was really satisfying to see the kids learning and having fun whilst doing something that I had planned. I have learned how to manage a group of kids better, which will be extremely helpful since right now I expect to go into teaching. I have gained a lot of confidence in this area, which I was lacking before I took on this internship.

Katie Kavanaugh: This summer I am interning with the summer camp programs at CBEC. It is really fun to work with the kids and teach them about various environmental subjects affecting the Chesapeake Bay. My favorite experience from this summer so far was leading a composting lesson for the campers. They had a lot of fun digging through compost to find decomposers and then later getting to make their own compost in a bottle to take home. Working closely with kids over the last few weeks has taught me a lot about patience, leadership, and teamwork, which I know will help me in my future endeavors.

Exploring the Chesapeake with travel campers

Nora Jacobson: My role this summer at CBEC is to assist with the environmental education programs. I work mostly with the summer camp, but I have also worked with visiting groups. When helping with camp, I lead activities, teach environmental education lessons, and play games! I am also able to assist with restoration efforts and office work. My favorite experiences from this summer so far were the weeks that I was the head camp counselor. I love playing with the kids and it’s so fun to teach a lesson that you have planned and the kids enjoy doing. I love meeting the kids on the first day who are shy and have never been to the camp before, and then watching them open up and have fun throughout the week. There have been so many things that I have learned this summer! The biggest is that I definitely want to work with kids. All of the professional development opportunities have been extremely helpful and have introduced me to many different fields in environmental science that I wasn’t aware of before I took on this internship.

Ryan Ware: This summer, my work experience has been a mashup of many things, from groundskeeping to education, with some more serious scientific projects mixed in. I am currently composing a list of all CBEC fauna for the benefit of staff, scientific community, and general visitors. I have found great enjoyment in scavenging through the tidal pool and the salt panne marsh, whether looking for species or educating a group of kids. I have expanded my knowledge of hydroponic systems, and how to care for plants in these systems. This will help me look for future internships/jobs involving aquaculture/hydroponics, and give me a base for future research projects.

Tyler Scott: My unofficial role this summer is as Greg’s second hand. My official role is performing operations in the geodome and assisting with conservation projects. My favorite experience so far this summer was joining all the volunteers working together to plant oyster spat. Through this internship, I have learned how to work well independently and with others.

CBEC Restoration Interns check water quality in the aquaponics system (aka the GrowDome). Left to right: Ryan Ware and Tyler Scott.