Graduate Fellows Summer Excursions
Apr 09, 2012
Everything about the Au Sable Graduate Fellows summer plans is far and wide-ranging: their travels, their research, their internship areas, their educational opportunities, and their service projects. We caught up with each of them to find out more about their summer arrangements and how they will be bringing healing to different areas of creation.
Kathryn plans to spend her summer as an intern for The Nature Conservancy worldwide office in the Washington, D.C., metro area. During the internship, she will work to raise awareness about and create educational content for Nature Rocks, a TNC program that aims to get children outdoors. She is looking forward to combining her journalism and communications background with the environmental education skills she has gained through her M.S. program to contribute to this worthwhile project.
With spring arriving early, Allyson is getting anxious to be done with classes and to start gardening! She will be interning this summer with Cultivating Community, a University of Michigan student group that runs an organic garden outreach and education program for students, where she will be recruiting volunteers, organizing workshops, and spending some quality time digging in the dirt. She is also begun work on her Masters Project, working with four other students to establish a Sustainable Food Program and student farm on campus that will be a gathering place for interdisciplinary education, community building, and sustainable food production. She will be living and breathing the unofficial farm motto this summer as she attempts to "Grow Blue!"
Keith has accepted an offer to go to University of California-Berkeley for a PhD program. He will be in their Integrative Biology department and will be advised by Dr. Mary Power, focusing his degree on freshwater ecology. Keith and his wife Lindsey will be moving to California this summer.
Aaron will be heading back to Mexico for a two months this summer to continue agroecology research on an organic coffee plantation. He will be studying how varying farming strategies impact plant diversity on farms.
Sharon has reached the end of her time in graduate school and will be defending her Ph.D. on May 16th. Her dissertation, in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, is titled: “Diagnosing inter-model variability of Northern Hemisphere jet stream portrayal in 17 CMIP3 global climate models”. Her work consists of a statistical analysis of climate model biases and variations in the characterization of the jet stream in the 20th century and 21st century. The results of her research suggest that an improvement in the consistency of modeled tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures will significantly improve the consistency of mid-latitude large-scale circulation in climate models.
After graduation, Sharon will be moving to Portland and getting married in July. She is searching for jobs related to community-based sustainability development or sustainability education, but is flexible to try a wide range of new opportunities. She looks forward to having extra time this summer to read, explore a new city, and can not wait to find out what is coming next!
Heather recently completed a Masters at the University of Wisconsin–Madison studying birds in the mountains of western North Carolina. She is currently pursuing a M.Ed. in environmental education at the University of Wisconsin–Steven's Point, and hopes that her future career will combine her interests in field ecology research and environmental education. Heather has the opportunity to live and work at an environmental stewardship focused semester school for juniors in high school (Conserve School) while pursuing her second masters.
Josh will be spending the summer as an intern at the Huron River Watershed Council in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He will be helping them address an impairment in one of the Huron RIver tributaries, develop a watershed management plan, implement a green infrastructure project for Washtenaw County, and direct a water quality monitoring program studying E. coli levels in the Honey Creek sub-basin.
Mozhgon will be spending her summer in the lab analyzing samples she collected from gold mining workers for mercury levels and doing some writing. She will be returning to Ghana for two weeks in August to meet with officials to plan future work and return mercury results to people she worked with the previous summer.
Jonathon will be heading to Goshen College (IN) this summer to begin working as a professor of sustainability and environmental education at the Goshen College Merry Lea Center. The work will involve teaching masters students in environmental education and undergraduates in a series of courses on multidisciplinary perspectives on sustainability. He anticipates that many of the conversations and ideas he has been apart of in his Au Sable time will stand him in very good stead in his new role.
Christine recently started a job in lovely downtown St. Paul at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture as a Water Research Datatype Program Associate. She is joining as project coordinator to get a web-based database going that will be a resource for researchers and the public to tap into the rich gray literature (as well as peer reviewed articles) related to water research in Minnesota and beyond. Christine says “It is just my first week, but so far it has been good and full of grace!”
David will again be spending the summer on the mountains, coasts, and glacially carved valleys of Acadia National Park working as an interpretive park ranger. This summer, he will be responsible for even more educational programs than in previous years, including occasionally leading curriculum-based programs for school groups grades 3-6 who visit the park with their classes.
Leah will be spending her summer working as a Summer Fellow for the Erb Family Foundation in Detroit. Her main projects will be 1) working with local watershed councils to plan for future capacity building grants and 2) helping the foundation refine its land use and water conservation strategy focused on the city of Detroit.