My name is Will Carta and I am interning with CLEAR through UConn CAHNR Extension. I am going to be a senior at UConn and I am majoring in Natural Resources with a concentration in Water Resources and Climate. Before transferring to UConn I spent two and a half years at Manchester Community College. I love fitness, fishing, and playing basketball with friends whenever I get the chance. I am currently working on updating CLEAR’s “State of Low Impact Development in Connecticut“ story map. Many of the links to various regulations throughout this story map are out of date, which I am in the process of updating. I have found that many of the towns that did not have a specific document for their Stormwater Management Plan when the story map was first created, now have one. This is great to see because it shows that more and more towns in Connecticut are acknowledging the importance of Stormwater Management as well as Low Impact Development and putting out regulations to deal with it. Along with the LID Story map, I will also be working on updating UConn’s Virtual Green Stormwater Infrastructure Campus Tour. This virtual tour highlights the University’s leadership role in addressing the impacts of stormwater runoff on water quality.
Hi everyone! My name is Megan Davenport and I am Hartford County’s 4-H Intern this summer! I am currently a junior at UConn in Storrs, CT and am double majoring in Animal Science (ANSC) and Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) and minoring in Agriculture Outreach and Learning. At UConn, I am heavily involved in the Dairy Club and the Block and Bridle Livestock Club and enjoy introducing UConn students and community members to the agricultural operations on campus. Before UConn, I was a proud 4-H member for 8 years where I showed dairy cattle for my project and I also served as a State FFA Officer among other leadership roles through my extensive involvement with FFA. Through all of my time in FFA, 4-H and my extensive experience in the dairy industry, I realized my true calling lies in the education and communication of agricultural operations and programs. I am excited to educate youth about agriscience and to inspire them to pursue their passions and make a positive impact in their community.
Due to COVID-19 and the virtual transition of 4-H programs, I will be finding creative ways to connect, engage with and educate 4-H members about the world of 4-H and agriculture online. This summer I will be focusing on social media engagement with 4-H youth and community members as well as creating educational videos for UConn 4-H members to utilize on topics such as but not limited to… animal restraint, dairy fitting and topline clipping, dairy judging, milking procedures, giving oral reasons, leadership skills, resume building and professional networking. Tune in on our various social media accounts (@uconnhartfordcounty4h) for our “Fun Fact Fridays” and “Mindful Mondays” and be sure to check out these educational videos on the UConn Extension YouTube channel!
Greetings! My name is Sara Tomis and I am working as an intern for the New London County 4-H Office. I am majoring in Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) at the University of Connecticut, and I intend to pursue a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education upon the completion of my undergraduate degree. I aspire to combine my passion for animal science and horticulture with my passion for outreach to develop a successful career in agricultural education.
I am involved in FFA as a member of the CT State Association Executive Committee, and I currently serve as a board member on the New London County Agricultural Extension Council. In addition to my internship in the New London County 4-H office, I work as a social media specialist in UConn CAHNR Extension and assist in UConn social media outreach for the National Healthy Homes Partnership. This past spring, I had the pleasure of drafting and speaking in an #AskUConnExtension video detailing healthy hygiene when interacting with animals. This opportunity enabled me to expand on my writing skills, content delivery skills, and impact while spreading a message that is close to my heart.
This summer, I am assisting in the delivery and preparation of our virtual 4-H Summer Library Program. I am working to tie agricultural concepts into our program content to increase agricultural awareness in New London County youth. Additionally, I am assisting in the facilitation of the UConn 4-H Ozobot Club, which brings 4-Hers together from across our state to learn about robotics and technology. I am also working to prepare our New London County Virtual Exhibition which will take the place of our traditional fair and highlight proficiency, knowledge, and growth in New London County 4-Hers. I am excited to be working to produce accessible education and growth opportunities for youth in my community!
Hello, my name is Nikki Santillo. I am interning with the New Haven County farmer’s market. I am a rising junior majoring in Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Food Science. In the fall semester, I was able to connect with an after school program the nutrition club supported. I helped inform the children about healthy decision making while preparing nutritious snacks. I hope to return and be a full time participant in the Nutrition Club this coming year.
My role with the New Haven County farmer’s market is to educate farmer’s market attendees about healthy, affordable recipes to create using the produce at the market. I am generating social media posts that are available to the public on UConn Extension’s multiple social media platforms. My goal is to explain how fruits and vegetables are important for our health and can be tailored to the individual’s taste. My first recipe, cauliflower fried rice, focuses on how vegetables can be used to increase the nutrient density of a typical dish. I enjoy finding new and healthy substitutions using fresh foods.
The Meriden farmer’s market opens July 11th and is held every Saturday up until October 17th. I encourage everyone nearby to go and support local farmers while also developing a healthy lifestyle.
Hello! My name is Carl Johnson I am the Plant diagnostic & Horticulture intern at the UConn Plant Diagnostic Lab. I am a graduate of the Ratcliffe Hicks plant science program(RHSA) and am going into my senior year as a Sustainable Plant and Soil Systems (SPSS) major. Before enrolling in UConn I worked as a grower at Logee’s greenhouse in Danielson, CT. I am also the student worker in the Floriculture greenhouse on campus and have spent several semesters working as a lab assistant for the Lubell-Brand lab in the Plant Science department at UConn. I am the President of the UConn Horticulture Club and an avid plant collector and horticulturalist.
This summer I will be completing my internship online under the supervision of Abby Beissinger and the team of professionals at the UConn Home and Garden Education Center (HGEC). My projects this summer will include adding to the already extensive collection of educational resources and fact sheets for the diagnostic lab and the HGEC. I will also be assisting with plant ID in addition to plant pest and disease diagnosis, a service the diagnostic lab provides to the community and nurseries across the state. I will also be helping compile the monthly Plant Diagnostic Report for the UConn Plant Diagnostic Lab, Home & Garden Education Center, and Extension Master Gardener Clinics. I’m excited to be a part of such an important branch of UConn extension and am grateful to have this opportunity to work with such knowledgeable people.
Hello my name is Zachary Duda and I am excited to be an intern this summer with Litchfield County 4-H! I am currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut. At UConn I serve as the President of the UConn Agricultural Advocacy Club and am active with the UConn FFA Alumni. My agricultural experience is broad having jobs in areas such as nursery and landscaping, forage crop production, and dairy science. As a former FFA member I was able to learn the value of hands-on applications and want to bring agriculture to the younger generation of agriculturalists in Connecticut.
This summer I will be working on a series of virtual lessons on all aspects of the agricultural industry as well as some leadership skills and techniques. The topics include tractor safety, weaning cattle, nutrition labels and food packaging, potting plants, quick cooking recipes, and many more. I hope that these lessons will provide younger learners with a platform to build off of so that they may enter the field of agriculture with ample knowledge and a set of skills that will benefit them for years to come.
I am eager to learn more about 4-H and the extension system as I believe it serves the state well in multiple aspects of community and overall well being. I look forward to being part of the great things 4-H has done for countless individuals over the years.
Jade Hardrick is a rising junior at the University of Connecticut and is from South Windsor, CT. She is currently double majoring in economics and urban & community studies. Her interests include urban planning, business, and law. She plans to obtain an advanced degree in at least one of those listed fields. On campus, she is the vice president of the organization Women & Minorities in Economics which encourages more women and minorities to enter the field of economics and has in-depth economic discussions about racial and gender inequality, income inequality, and climate change. Hardrick enjoys running and reading books in her free time.
Hello all! My name is Sydney Collins, and I am excited to announce my partnership with UConn Extension as a NRCA Intern for the Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA) in Summer 2020.
More about me, I am a rising sophomore at the University of Connecticut studying Environmental Science with a keen interest in Urban and Community Development. My love for the outdoors spawned from the beloved stream I regularly paddled around in growing up in the backwoods of Willington, CT. I was able to interact with a plethora of ecosystems right in my backyard and experience the beauty of the environment, that almost appears untouched by human influence.
This love soon turned into a passion when I uncovered the atrocities occurring to our planet, and thus the stream that I grew quite fond of. This was due to human dependence on fossil fuels to supply our ever growing energy demand and also the poor maintenance of our resources through dumping and pollution. I am fascinated by the intersection of social science and natural resources, particularly in the realm of environmental justice, to best curate human experiences founded on sustainable and accessible development. My engagement in organizations that address various local issues emphasize the importance of community-based initiatives, especially in reference to sustainability, hence my excitement to be involved in UConn NRCA. My interests are particularly focused on areas of food and energy production and how they influence the ever-dawning threat of climate change.
While I’m not interning at the office, I can also be found planting and plucking crops at a local farm in Coventry, where I work to better understand the farming practices that support the food we eat. I look forward to further engaging with my local communities at farmers markets to provide fresh grown vegetables, and thus decrease the carbon footprint of families shopping locally. When you’re not looking for a bite to eat, feel free to pop by the beautiful hiking trails of Vernon, where you can find me as a Trail Manager up-keeping the local landscape.
I am so excited for all I have to learn at the “office” this summer through this distance internship, and all the wonderful workshops and community-initiated projects I have the pleasure to engage with. NRCA is a wonderful office, but we also would not be anything with the splendid engagement with local youth, volunteer adults, and professionals that bring great dedication to our programs. So here is to an amazing summer and all we have to learn!
Hello everyone, my name is Meg Sanders, and I am a UConn Extension Environmental Education intern with the Natural Resources Conservation Academy for summer 2020.
A little bit about myself, I am a sophomore at UConn studying environmental science with a minor in communication. I was an intern with UConn Extension during the summer of 2019 and I worked with other extension educators and 4-H educators. My experience with UConn Extension has allowed me to gain valuable field experiences at Auer Farm, the 4-H Hartford County Fair, and other 4-H sites in CT. I’ve been really lucky to have had opportunities working with many diverse groups of youth and adults in order to both teach others and learn about their experiences with the environment. I especially loved working with CT youth at Auer Farm, and being able to teach students who didn’t have much experience with rural ecosystems about the animals on a farm.
During the academic school year of 2019-2020, I was a grant recipient for the UConn Co-op Legacy Fellowship Change Grant. With this grant, I worked with two fellow UConn undergraduate students to create environmental education curriculum kits that we hoped to distribute to middle school educators all over Connecticut. We prepared an online and in-class curriculum using existing 4-H educational materials on climate change education, and planned to distribute these and kits to CT middle schools before schools were closed down this spring. This effort was done in paralleled with Connecticut Environmental Action Day. From this experience, I was able to learn more about what goes into creating environmental educational content, and was able to further my experience working with extension educators.
My interests in the environment are still growing and changing daily. A fun fact about myself is that I had the opportunity to attend a short UConn study abroad experience before I began interning for UConn Extension. Unfortunately, it did not happen due to the pandemic, but we would have traveled to South Africa to study African field ecology. With this, I’d hoped to be able to see ecosystems that I normally wouldn’t be exposed to, and learn about what conservation means to different people around the world. This trip will not be happening this year but will be next year, and I hope to be able to still gain these unique experiences. Next year, I would love to be able to use some of the knowledge about conservation that I will have learned this summer and apply it to what I will be learning abroad.
This summer, I am very excited to learn how to provide environmental education in many ways, including online. Learning how to utilize resources online to deliver similar content that would have been used in hands-on field experiences will be interesting and thought-provoking. I look forward to improving my skills with mapping technologies, such as GPS and GIS. Overall, I look forward to being able to apply all of the natural resources knowledge that I can to other aspects of my life in order to promote conservation and sustainability.