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School of Environment and Natural Resources


SENR Internship Stories

Internships are a great way for students to apply what they learn in the classroom to a professional working environment.  The internship experience is also a great way for students to determine if their chosen career path is the right fit for them. Each year more and more SENR students are completing internships. Here are a few stories that highlight some of the benefits or skills gained from an internship. The School of Environment and Natural Resources would like to thank the many individuals, organizations and companies helping to provide our undergraduate students with these important learning and employment opportunities.


Internship Yields GPS and GIS Technology Skills and More

Alissa M. Finke
Major:  Environmental Science: Restoration Ecology
Conservation Department Intern at The Holden Arboretum 

Summer 2014

I worked outside every day doing numerous tasks. I primarily worked at removing invasive species.
We managed about 10 invasive species while I was there over the summer. We hand picked, cut down, or sprayed the invasive depending on how each plant was managed. Our primary target was hand picking and carrying out Garlic Mustard and spraying the seedlings with a biodegradable herbicide.
I also participated in several wetland delineations, trail mapping and restoration maintenance within The Holden Arboretum's 3,000 acres of natural area. I most enjoyed my direct involvement with developing a Rapid Upland Forest Assessment and my work with invasive worm monitoring. I gained skills regarding basic GPS and GIS technology and plant identification. I loved it! 


Internship helps prepare student for career in environmental

James Schweiterman
Major:  Environmental Policy and Decision Making
Ecological Intern at Lawhon & Associates, Inc.
Summer 2014
I was an ecological intern at an environmental consulting firm, Lawhon & Associates, Inc. in Grandview Heights, Ohio. I was part of the ecological/environmental team at the consulting firm where I assisted professional environmental scientists. We conducted ecological and environmental surveys for the Ohio Department of Transportation and private entities. I conducted field work surveys, assisted with client reporting, and helped with permitting and agency coordinating procedures. A goal of mine is to enter the environmental consulting business and this internship allowed me to experience this profession. I really valued this experience because it connected previous course work to real world, professional situations. Being an environmental policy student, I had knowledge of environmental laws and regulations, procedures and science, which allowed me to succeed with this position. This position tied together all my recent collegiate courses and allowed me to put it to use in a real job setting. Overall this work experience has improved my professional knowledge in the environmental career sector. I truly am grateful for this opportunity and plan to use this experience to continue to reach my career goals.
This opportunity allowed me to experience the private consulting side of the environmental career field. Previously, I interned at the Ohio
EPA so I have experience in both sectors now.

Internship strengthens knowledge of environmental regulations

Grace Poling
Major:  Environmental Science
Environmental Intern with Marathon Petroleum Company

Summer 2014

​I worked under the Health, Environment, and Safety Professionals at the Texas City Refinery in Texas City, TX.  I gained experience with environmental regulations and also air and water testing equipment.  I also had the opportunity to work with the EPA, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), contractors, and at the Marathon headquarters. Working at a refinery, I learned a lot about the process and was able to climb on equipment and get my hands dirty.  There were other interns there that I became great friends with doing volunteer work, exploring the Houston, Texas area, and attending other Marathon events. Working with Marathon Petroleum was a wonderful opportunity that allowed me to gain great experience, make great contacts, and experience a new location.


Internship produces memorable teaching moments

Lauren Frericks
Major:  Natural Resource Management: Parks and Recreation
Wildlife Instructor at The Ohio Wildlife Center 
Summer 2014
I was a Wildlife Instructor in charge of teaching 20 to 30 children every week about Ohio wildlife and protection. We taught the kids how to care for our animal ambassadors and what to do if they find one injured or abandoned in the wild. We also emphasized that wild animals are not pets. I was in charge of the safety and happiness of the kids and the animals we used for education. I loved getting the kids excited to learn about the animals, which made me feel like I was doing some good in the world. The biggest thing I learned this summer is to make education personal by letting each child research and focus on whatever animal they wanted. One of my favorite experiences this summer was when a kid who loved catching bugs helped another kid catch his favorite animal, a six- spotted tiger beetle, for his presentation. Those kids will never forget that experience and neither will I. I will hopefully be advancing my experience by working at the zoo this summer in the education department. I hope to focus on exotic and endangered species education and be involved with the public by teaching them ways to protect the environment.



Students interested in learning more about environment and natural resource-related internships and other career services can visit:

November 2014.