SENR Undergraduates Engaged in Diversity of Summer Experiences

July 10, 2013
Summer is officially underway and we have reports from the field that SENR undergraduates are engaged in a wide array of activities.  According to Trish Raridan Preston, career counselor for the School of Environment and Natural Resources, “summer is a perfect time for students to apply what they have been learning in the classroom. It's an excellent opportunity to try on a job and see how it really fits.” 
 
We had the opportunity to catch up with Diana Saintignon, a senior majoring in Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife who is spending the summer working as a teaching assistant for a class focused on independent summer research with the University of Notre Dame's Environmental Research Center (UNDERC).  She reports that eight students are in attendance from across the country and that they will spend the summer at the National Bison Range near Salish and Kootenai tribal land in Montana. Diana shared that the participating students will be in charge of their own research project where they will write a proposal, assemble their field work, write a paper, and present to their peers at the end of the summer. This year the students' research project topics focus on a range of study organisms including subterranean invertebrates, deer mice, and grassland birds.
 
She also shared that she was fortunate to participate in this class a few years ago not as a teaching assistant, but as one of the students.  The experience, according to Saintignon has had a profound impact on her.  She notes, “I took this same class two summers ago where I studied the effects of wolf spider density on grasshopper behavior and vegetative biomass. I presented my results at several forums including OSU's Denman Undergraduate Research Forum and Harvard's National Collegiate Research Conference and the results were later published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research at Ohio State.”  Saintignon also reflected on how that learning experience continues to impact her and has benefitted her in many ways, including getting her foot in the door for jobs and internships. She notes, “I'm looking forward to helping others to have the same experience.”  
 
According to Raridan Preston, “Our students are gaining valuable work experience at a number of places this summer, including the Ohio EPA, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus and Franklin Country Metro Parks, Dawes Arboretum, US Forest Service, US National Parks, Newport Aquarium, the Columbus Zoo, the Ohio Environmental Council and as research assistants here at Ohio State. Getting international experience via a study abroad is also another great summer academic addition that future employers view favorably on a resume."
 
Students interested in learning more about environment and natural resource-related internships and other career services can visit:  http://senr.osu.edu/undergraduate/career-services