Samuel is our Ecotypic Seed Supply Chain Intern this summer. His majors are Mathematics and Environmental Science – ’23 CLAS.
I truly believe in developing a personal relationship with the land. So when I saw UConn Extension offering this internship I was immediately hooked. With this work, I am aiding a professor and doctoral student in developing an ecotypic seed supply chain to revegetate highway roadsides with native plants. Ecotypic seed refers to native plant ecotypes that are grown and processed here in New England. It results in better erosion control, better pollinator health, greater plant longevity, less invasive plants… the list goes on about the benefits of using native plants.
I am also learning about mowing patterns and how we can best mow for pollinators and native plants. Although not an initial interest of mine, I have been taken aback by how much reducing our mowing can benefit the land. As I drive along the highways now, I am particularly aware of all the beautiful plants and wildflowers that have proliferated due to reduced mowing. We use our roads every day, traveling at high speeds turning the landscape into a blur. Having the opportunity to make our drives more ecologically authentic for ourselves, pollinators, and wildlife has been extremely meaningful. I am learning so much about the land we inhabit and about the beautiful plants that we often take for granted.
My name is Michael Wolf, I am currently the Marketing Intern for UConn Extension and have been working on multiple projects focusing on growing our network and how we can continue to interact with the community. Extension is constantly growing our outreach through our various social media platforms where we advertise virtually all of the activities, we participate in. This is where you can find educational content related to our research and plenty of entertainment and enjoyment through our student-run pieces. Not only is UConn Extension focused on informing the community, but through developing our marketing efforts we are better able to provide those at the university with the proper channels needed to gather knowledge and build a platform to grow our skills.
Currently, one of my main focuses is working on our exciting new project called FertAdvisor. This program is an Apple and Android-friendly application that was developed by a group of faculty members in the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources to help homeowners better understand how to fertilize their turf, yard, and gardens.
Throughout the course of my internship, I look forward to promoting our programs through events such as Turf Grass Field Day (where turf grass professionals of all levels are provided the opportunity to learn about the cutting-edge research being done in lawn care, sports, and golf turf management), and helping to launch new marketing initiatives for UConn Extension to help promote our diversity, ingenuity, community, and impact. I am very excited to be working with Stacey Sterns and Vickie Wallace to complete all these tasks and look forward to learning from both of them through this process. Make sure to check out all our resources to keep your lawn picture-perfect this summer and stay tuned for YouTube videos and social media content to help turn you into a master gardener for years to come.
Hi! My name is Kate O’Brien, and I’m one of the summer interns with UConn CAHNR Extension. I’m currently working in clinical and community nutrition with organizations such as Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), and Auerfarm under Sherry Gray. At UConn, I am a rising senior majoring in Nutritional Sciences, with a concentration in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). On campus, I have been involved with Husky Programs and Husky Reads where I taught nutrition education to preschoolers and developed my love of working with kids and nutrition. I am also involved with Nutrition Club and Habitat for Humanity.
This internship has given me a variety of experiences. At Connecticut Children’s Genetics Clinic, I have been able sit-in on patient appointments and learn about metabolic disorders and their dietary treatment. It has been so interesting learning about how to approach such specific conditions with unique dietary needs while trying to allow the child to live a normal daily life. I am also working with the education specialists for Hartford County EFNEP to co-create and teach a summer nutrition education course. I have been building coursework that focuses on fitness, nutrition, and social media. Soon I will begin working at Auerfarm’s summer camp where I will teach high school transition students with disabilities about nutrition, food safety, and food preparation. It has been such a great experience being a part of the Hartford County Extension office, meeting the other people who work for UConn Extension, and learning about the different programs they are a part of such as Master Gardeners and the PATHS trails programs. I have learned so much already and I can’t wait for the rest of the summer!
This summer I have been given the opportunity to work as a part of the UConn 4-H family, right near where I live in Middlesex County! One of my goals for the summer to spread the word about 4-H. As the largest youth organization in the country, 4-H has focused on helping youth to thrive, especially at a time when it is needed most. 4-H continues to provide support, recreation, and development for children and teens throughout Connecticut. We focus on engaging individuals in long-term projects through caring relationships with mentors.
Youth learn skills such as record keeping, public speaking, and civil responsibility which enables them to become the healthy, smart, active, and enriched individuals they were meant to become. But most importantly, becoming a part of UConn 4-H means joining a community and a family. My time with 4-H so far has been extremely valuable to me because of the amazing people I have met, and the incredible things they have taught me, such as how to show a horse. If you’re like me and are interested in learning more about how to get involved, check out our form:
Do you think that creepy crawlers are cool? How about ones that fly? Are you fascinated with insects and want to learn more about them in a fun way? As the vegetable entomology extension intern, I am working closely with Dr. Ana Legrand to create exciting outreach content for the upcoming Bug Week event ranging from informative posters and infographics to video content of the insects we see in the field. I am starting this internship off virtually focusing more on the creation of graphics that detail processes and advantages of integrated pest management as well as insect identification. We plan to document the interesting insects that visit the field not only during the working, daylight hours, but also the nighttime, giving the world a grasp on the differences (and similarities) of the diversity of insects that visit a single ecosystem.
Bug week is a program designed around family participation and education, highlighting the importance of insects and their role in natural and human-made ecosystems and gives participants an opportunity to observe insects up close with the assistance of trained professionals. Last year, due to the ongoing pandemic, Bug Week was extended to Bug Month for the entirety of July, giving ample time to appreciate some awesome insects with a photo contest, fun facts, and activities both online and in person. This year’s line up will include crafts fun, family oriented crafts, recipes, and more that will be able to be accessed through the website. Be sure to keep your eyes open for buzz-worthy content for the 8th annual Bug Week!
Greetings! My name is Courtney Andreozzi and I am honored to be the GIS intern for CT Trailfinder for Summer 2022. I am a rising senior at UConn studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) with a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
During this previous school year I worked in conjunction with UConn’s CLEAR and Joshua’s Land Trust to add local trails to CT Trailfinder, and am excited to continue and expand my work through UConn Extension. In addition to using ArcGIS Pro to edit and analyze trails to be added to the website, the GIS work I am doing is assisting in building Connecticut’s first statewide layer of trails that are collected from a variety of land managers. Besides my interests in conservation, GIS, and finding local opportunities to get outside (especially since being affected by Covid), I am passionate about mental health visibility and advocacy, being active in the UConn chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
CT Trailfinder itself provides accurate, trail manager approved information on publicly accessible trail systems that can be quickly updated; increasing awareness and access to outdoor resources to all audiences, especially those that are not traditional trail users. With more than 200 postings and more than 1000 miles of trails already mapped on the website, this opportunity has opened my eyes to just how many opportunities there are across the state for both traditional and nontraditional trail uses (e.g. cross country skiing, bicycling, equestrian, paddling, etc.). I hope to also contribute to the site’s development of trailside services that will help connect the trail resources to the local communities. I am delighted to be able to contribute my skills in GIS to encourage others in Connecticut to find trail systems appropriate for their interests and explore all of the beautiful publicly accessible land around them.
My name is Heather Wirth, and I am excited to be an intern this summer through UConn Extension. I am working with UConn 4-H – Tolland County to plan this year’s edition of 4-H Food Revolution. My job is to create a curriculum for a four day youth summer program as well as recruiting participants. During this program youth ages seven to eleven are given the opportunity to experience hands-on learning by partaking in STEM activities relating to preparation of food, gardening, and sustainable living. This program is an important enrichment opportunity for children during the summer, and it creates a foundation for healthy living habits as well as awareness of ecological topics. Food Revolution is a fun way to connect with youth about important environmental matters and to get them out in the field to experience exciting topics.The Food Revolution program also includes lessons and activities to get children started on a Junior Master Gardener certification. I hope to make an impact on the youth of my community by providing an exciting program that sparks curiosity and lifelong learning.
During this internship, I am working on general recruitment of new members for Tolland County 4-H. By utilizing community based outreach, my goal is to spread awareness about getting involved in 4-H in order to bring in new adult volunteers as well as more youth participants. There are a vast array of ways for people to get involved and I would like to show those who are interested that they can bring valuable knowledge and skills to the 4-H community. I would like to implement educational sessions and resources (such as brochures and social media posts) to a broad audience to spur the interest of newcomers to the organization. Another major component of my internship program is to facilitate the Tolland County 4-H Fair in August. In preparation for the event I will serve as a resource for the youth participants, assist the fair board, and conduct general organization.
Gregory Desautels interned with Dr. Mike Dietz of UConn Extension in the summer of 2019, working with Dr. Dietz on projects for UConn CLEAR. Gregory has continued working with Dr. Dietz on projects funded by Connecticut Sea Grant during the fall 2019 semester. In the article below, Gregory reflected on his summer internship.
Through my summer as an Extension intern at the UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR), I learned skills and had experiences, which may shape my future. I learned technical skills, working in GIS programs such as Arc Pro and AGOL, as well as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. I improved my organizational skills, learning how to manage multiple iterations and edits of data files so they could be referenced in the future. I learned how to work independently and improved my problem solving while working on projects that were challenging, and sometimes over my head. Finally, I was able to practice communicating with coworkers and supervisors.
The technical skills that I developed this summer were one of the most valuable parts of this experience. Through projects such as the Shellfishing Atlas and Campus LID Map, I had to use many of the skills developed in my previous GIS classes. Furthermore, these projects required me to work outside the confines of my previous experiences and to learn new skills, often by reading tutorials and self-teaching. In programs such as Excel, which I had previously considered myself adept, I found that there was still a lot to learn, and hands on experience was the best way to do so. I consider these experiences valuable not only for the skills learned, but also in learning how to teach myself. In my career, I expect there will be times when I do not know how to solve a problem and I will need to use all the resources available to learn how to solve it.
Organizational skills, specifically in reference to managing files for GIS were one of the most practical skills that I developed. Through my own processes of trial and error, as well as through new iterations becoming available, I was often left with multiple seemingly identical files with small but vital differences. My previous nomenclature wasn’t sufficient to keep track of all these files, however several of my coworkers taught me how to build and manage file databases. This has allowed for a cleaner workflow and the ability to backtrack and reference previous steps, both important skills when working in GIS.
This internship was also a valuable experience in communication. In communicating with coworkers, supervisors
and faculty members, I learned to adapt my communications to them. As someone who defaults to excessive formality, I often had to tone back and learn how to match someone else’s level. I found that the formal “Thank You, double space, sincerely, double space, signature” format lauded by schools is not always practical or necessary and that being overly formal can actually hinder clear communication.
In terms of my career goals, I don’t feel that this summer has wildly altered my trajectory, however I do feel that I have a better understanding of what to expect. Seeing the “behind the scenes” work related to securing grants and funding, as well as how this office fits into the larger body of UConn has been eye-opening. This internship was valuable in more ways that I can say, and I am confident that as I progress through my career, I will find many more instances where this experience has helped me.
Article by Gregory Desautels, CLEAR Intern Reflection
Community & Economic Development Paid Internship Summer – Fall 2019 – Connecticut Economic Development Association Best Practices Program
The Connecticut Economic Development Association (CEDAS) is seeking an intern to assist with all aspects of implementation of a new community Best Practices program pilot. The intern will be involved program’s implementation and will work closely with economic development professionals through the Connecticut Economic Development Association, the state’s only organization for economic development professionals, including opportunities to attend regular professional board meetings and CEDAS events. The intern will specifically be involved with implementation of an innovative economic development pilot program called “Connecticut Best Practices in Land Use and Economic Development.” This program was developed to set a standard for best practices in economic development and land use among communities in Connecticut, recognize communities that document the use of established best practices, and drive communities to pursue excellence in land use and economic development practices. Partners on the program include the Connecticut Economic Development Association with the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association and University of Connecticut Programs in Community & Economic Development. More information at https://www.cedas.org/Resources/CT-Best-Practices-In-Land-Use-and-Economic-Development/
Tasks will include but are not limited to researching and documenting similar programs and best practices, creating written and online educational materials, assisting with development and assessment of program evaluation, communicating with applying communities, assisting with application management, and providing regular reporting to the CEDAS board of directors. Students applying for this internship must have a demonstrated interest in state and municipal community and economic development programs and policy. Students with backgrounds in geography, economics, business, geography, public policy, and urban studies are strongly encouraged to apply but other areas of study will be considered. The successful candidate will demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills and an ability to manage her/himself professionally in a community setting. This will be a remote internship (no office space will be provided) so the candidate must also demonstrate an ability to self manage her/his work plan, adapt to changing circumstances and opportunities as the program evolves, and solve problems, A computer or laptop and internet access as well as a vehicle for occasional travel are required to complete this internship. The intern will be overseen by Laura Brown, Community and Economic Development Educator with UConn Extension with additional guidance from the Best Practices steering committee and the CEDAS board. This will be a part-time (approximately 10 hours per week) remote internship for a maximum of 120 hours to start as soon as possible for Summer into Fall 2019. Hourly pay is $25.
Apply by submitting a cover letter explaining your course of study and why you are interested in the internship, writing sample, resume, transcript, and three references to Laura Brown, email@example.com by May 24, 2019. Please reference the CEDAS INTERNSHIP/ Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis. Open until filled.
Coming out of my 2017 marketing internship with UConn Extension, I possessed a newfound quality of discipline and relationship-building that I had honed over the three month experience with Stacey Stearns. Almost two years later, I have been able to employ such skills in my current experience as a Boren Scholar in which I am a student, professional, and volunteer.
Last April, I was nationally selected as one of 250 from a pool of over 1500 applicants to receive the US Government Boren Scholarship: a fellowship that enables qualified students to engage in intensive study-abroad. I am now nearing the end of my year long experience with the Boren, having gotten the opportunity to do a domestic summer program at the University of Florida before going abroad, and of course my nine-month experience abroad in Senegal, which will be coming to end an end this May.
The Boren has been heavily academic, including critical study of international relations, advanced language in both French and Wolof (a native West African language), amplified by my own personal choice to enroll in online American classes to keep up with credit requirements in completing my triple-degree venture in receiving Finance, Resource Economics, and French Honors degrees at the end of my UConn experience. While it has not been easy, I’ve found that my discipline in being goal-oriented and determined has encouraged me to get my work done efficiently while embracing new learning content, just as I had as an Extension intern.
On top of academics, I have further challenged myself to upkeep my professional development in maintaining contact with my career aspirations and experience by leveraging my relationship-building skills in internship pursuits.
I knew at the start of my Boren that I wanted to get involved in a professional capacity in addition to my studies during the program. After countless hours of research in organizations and opportunities in Senegal, I made sure to leverage networking platforms and use relationship-building skills to secure an internship. Not only was I accepted for a professional internship at the headquarters of the Central Bank of West African States in Dakar, but I also became a volunteer intern at the Senegalese office of an American organization that I had been involved with as a high school student in the States.
Thinking back to my days as an Extension intern, I remember how important taking initiative and applying relationship-building skills were. At Extension, all of the projects necessitated cross-departmental communication, and strength in relationship-building to move ideas forward and make tangible progress. Those same skills have evidently assisted me in the process of finding awesome, relevant involvements internationally that has ultimately enriched my Boren experience in Senegal.
Going forward, I will continue to apply what I’ve learned as an UConn Extension intern to my everyday life in academic and professional areas and beyond as I have as a Boren scholar. Extension equipped me with the tools and incredible support by the staff and CAHNR to work effectively to make change while also cultivating a learning environment I clearly profited from. The discipline and relationship-building skills I had gained in the process continue to be put to great use in all the new and challenging experiences I encounter as I continue to grow.