Gerard Heath spent the summer of 2010 living in a canvas-walled tent in the middle of a remote section of the Nez Perce reservation in Winchester, Idaho as an intern at the Wolf Education and Research Center. Over the four month duration of the program, Gerard worked as an interpreter, both on-site and at the local state park, monitored the health of the rescued wolves through daily, recorded observations, and occasionally could be found on any number of the state highways picking up road-killed game for extra wolf food. The opportunity to work for an organization seeking to protect such a famed species in the American west, where they remain a political controversy, taught Gerard many valuable lessons about the multifaceted nature of environmental issues.
Jennifer McCue arranged her internship with Earthworks Urban Farm on Detroit’s near eastside. In the process she learned the fundamentals of food security in an urban area, which included the basic processes of “how the world works,” soil preparation, seedling transplantation, preventing competition, enjoying the fruits of her labors, and recycling garden materials while sliding down compost piles. Equally, if not more important, were the interactions she had with the volunteers and co-workers of the farm as they discussed the 1967 “uprising” in Detroit and the significance of the 19th Constitutional Amendment. Of special interest to Jennifer was that the “bottom line” of Earthworks was on building community relationships, and that food production was the means to do that. In addition to interacting with her co-workers, she met visitors from all parts of the USA and from dozens of foreign countries due to the international reputation of Earthworks Urban Farm. Her report is a masterpiece of insightful writing.
Emily Mirowski (Env. Science) Allison Standafer (Env. Science) and Stephanie Vrabel (Env. Studies) completed their internships at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge under the supervision of UM-Dearborn graduate Greg Norwood. During spring, summer and fall of 2012, they assisted and accomplished a variety of field activities, which included the following.
- Staked out locations for marsh bird surveys and photo points.
- Collecting plant monitoring data in Humbug Marsh.
- Collected coordinates for oak tree plantings.
- Removed invasive species using a variety of techniques.
- Banded three Osprey chicks from a nest on a 30-foot platform on the Refuge (an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience they said).
- Collected seeds of local plants for restoration of the Humbug Marsh when invasive species are removed.
- Served as interpreters for the public Pointe Mouille Waterfowl Festival and the Lake Erie Metropark Hawk Festival.
- Made GPS readings for marsh bird and frog and toad surveys and entered data into the GIS system.