2015 internships

 

David Hecker and Kaitlin Martin, Resource Conservation majors, and Amelia Liberatore, Environmental Studies major

David Hecker and Kaitlin Martin, Resource Conservation majors, and Amelia Liberatore, Environmental Studies major
For their internship with the Watershed Education Network (WEN), David, Amelia, and Kaitlin worked together to create climate change curriculum for WEN’s use at high schools in Missoula. As a group, the interns created and taught weekly lessons at Willard Alternative High School. Each lesson involved small group discussion, lecture, hands-on interactive activities, and student project work. The students also gave a featured presentation about climate change to Hellgate High School students as part of their Earth Week activities. When not teaching about climate change, the students also got involved in WEN’s pre-existing programs taking kids out on field trips to learn about Missoula’s watersheds. See the students’ Hellgate High School presentation.

Meaghan Browne, Marketing major, Climate Change Studies minor

Meaghan Browne, Marketing major, Climate Change Studies minor
For her internship with the Office of Sustainability, Megan led a number of campus sustainability initiatives. She was in charge of social media where she helped to grow the organization’s following by sharing their events and sustainability efforts on the green the griz Instagram account. She also worked with several other campus groups to organize “Campus Thrift,” an event that aims to minimize waste by diverting material from the landfill. She and others collected reusable items at student move-out and then hosted a large resale event. Whatever didn’t get sold was donated to organizations such as HomeResource for reuse and repurposing. See an example of Meaghan’s marketing skills via the Campus Thrift poster she designed.

Alex Karafiat, Accounting Major and Ryan Conway, Environmental Studies major, Climate Change Studies minor

Alex Karafiat, Accounting Major and Ryan Conway, Environmental Studies major, Climate Change Studies minor
For their internship with Kettlehouse Brewing Company, Ryan and Alex worked together to develop a way to compare carbon dioxide emissions for different boilers. The Kettlehouse is soon to expand to a new location and wanted to make a climate-friendly decision when buying a new boiler. The students created a calculator in Microsoft Excel, which allows the user to plug in various scenarios to see which boiler will emit less carbon dioxide.

Toby Brown, Wildlife Biology major, Climate Change Studies minor

Toby Brown, Wildlife Biology major, Climate Change Studies minor
For his internship with MPG Ranch, Toby helped to track carnivore species during the winter and spring months. MPG is a 10,000 acre private land property in Western Montana that is dedicated to conservation through restoration, research, education and information sharing. Toby was responsible for snow tracking several targeted species, including mountain lions, wolves, wolverines, weasels, coyote, and bobcat. While in the field, he collected GPS map data, hair, and scat samples. He then uploaded the GPS data onto the MPG cloud server and mapped it using Google Earth. The hair and scat samples were dried and sent to the lab to be DNA tested. 

Ally Mueller, Physics major, Climate Change Studies minor

Ally Mueller, Physics major, Climate Change Studies minor

For her internship with Home ReSource, Ally worked to quantify the CO2 emissions Home ReSource helps to save in one year by giving customers the choice to buy reused materials rather than new materials. To do this, she developed a method whereby each sales category was assigned an average emissions value of CO2released per pound of product. The average number of pounds sold by Home ReSource for each category was then estimated and sampled using data from the sales records. Ally formulated a template for future volunteers to continue updating the waste diversion formula (how many tons of material diverted in one year), and a template for how to sample each sales category. Home ReSource used her results in a recent grant proposal and will continue the project into the future. See Ally's presentation

Blayne Metz, Political Science major, Climate Change Studies minor

Blayne Metz, Political Science major, Climate Change Studies minor
 As an intern at the UM Office of Sustainability, Blayne worked to coordinate a high-school sustainability summit for Fall 2015. The SMART Schools Challenge is a national initiative to incentivize schools looking to cut energy use, implement "green practices", and/or implement new waste reduction programs. During his internship, Blayne aided in the development of topic materials, contacted interested parties, and conducted a survey of SMART School mentors.

Carter Mills, Geography major, Climate Change Studies minor

Carter Mills, Geography major, Climate Change Studies minor

For his climate change internship, Carter worked with Free Cycles under the supervision of Bob Giordano. He primarily worked in the community bike shop striping down bikes for parts/recycling, building bikes that would be sold to support Free Cycles, and helping dozens of individuals from the community fix or maintain their bicycles. Carter also helped to teach the Bike Well classes, educating community members on bicycle safety and mechanics and facilitating bicycle needs to support a safe and sustainable transportation system.  

Stephen Fox, Resource Conservation major

Stephen Fox, Resource Conservation major
Stephen also worked for Free Cycles for his internship, where he learned how to repair a bike and all aspects of bike maintenance. He worked exclusively on kids bikes for the free bike program. He would fix donated bikes so that they could be given away to less fortunate kids that came into the shop looking for a bike. He was able to fix up to six bikes a day. He would like to try to start something like Missoula Free Cycles in his hometown of Browning after graduation. Check out Stephen and Carter’s presentation.

Nate Goodburn, Physics major, Climate Change Studies minor

Nate Goodburn, Physics major, Climate Change Studies minor
For his internship with the Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group (NTSG), Nate worked with graduate student Ruben Behnke in data processing and analysis. He learned the R programming language, looked at dew point and temperature correlations, and investigated common quality control issues in meteorological data from networks nationwide. Through his internship, Nate secured a BOREALIS summer internship, where he will continue his work at NTSG on humidity and dew point lapse rate research. See Nate’s presentation.

Emily Jensen, Social Work major, Climate Change Studies minor

Emily Jensen, Social Work major, Climate Change Studies minor
During her internship with the Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation, Emily was exposed to many different aspects of Missoula’s transportation system, exploring ways in which our road and trail systems can be improved to accommodate and appeal to all modes of transportation. Her duties entailed promoting, educating, and engaging the community in sustainable transportation issues. Specifically, she provided education to community groups about road diets and was active in community events as part of an outreach team. Overall, she gained a perspective on how cities run, knowledge about specific ways for citizens to create change, and the interconnectedness of all systems playing a role in climate change. See Emily’s presentation.

Madge Matia, Sociology major, Climate Change Studies and Media Arts minors

Madge Matia, Sociology major, Climate Change Studies and Media Arts minors
For her internship with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, Madge researched various methods of representing indigenous knowledge of phenology (or TEK, Traditional Ecological Knowledge) and the implications of climate change to this knowledge. After compiling her research into a Powerpoint, she interviewed people who were either indigenous or involved in indigenous issues, getting a sense of the impact of each person’s upbringing and career on their climate change values. She then used this information to make a phenological calendar that took climate change and each individual’s story into account. See Madge’s presentation.

Lauren Miller, Geography major, Climate Change Studies minor

Lauren Miller, Geography major, Climate Change Studies minor
For her internship with the City of Missoula, Lauren worked to promote the City’s Bike Share program. She worked closely with Ben Weiss, the City’s Bike/Pedestrian Program Manager, and Lisa Dworak, with Missoula in Motion to promote the bike share program. She gave presentations to city employees, gathered information via surveys, created promotional posters to hang around City Hall, developed a checkout program and made bike tags for each of the city bikes.

Vanessa Stewart, Wildlife Biology major

Vanessa Stewart, Wildlife Biology major

For her internship with Defenders of Wildlife, Vanessa contributed to a new citizen science study investigating species diversity in the Bitterroot National Forest using motion sensor cameras. The project involved a joint effort with the U.S. Forest Service and relied on more than 100 volunteers to collect data. Vanessa inputted records from each site visit, developed a system for sorting data from the cameras (which included millions of pictures), and trained volunteers to help with the photo sorting. Through the study they found wolverines at 4 different sites; moose, wolves, and bobcats at 3 sites; red fox at 2 sites; a mountain lion and a long-tailed weasel at one site; and martens at 20 sites, as well as multiple bird and squirrel species.

Gus O’Bosky, Environmental Studies major

Gus O’Bosky, Environmental Studies major

For his internship with the Climate Change Studies program, Gus worked on a Sustainable Campus Committee subcommittee tasked with purchasing carbon offsets in accordance with the UM’s Climate Action Plan. The purchase of carbon offsets enabled UM to reach its 2015 goal for emissions reduction. Gus also participated in a campus conversation generating ideas to advance sustainability education, worked on program promotion, and served as a liaison with the student group, Climate Action Now, helping to enhance communication between decision-makers and student groups.