Internship Experience with CRISP
This summer I was given the opportunity to work with the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) through an internship offered by The Student Conservation Association (SCA). During my internship I worked on a variety of outreach programs at local school districts, fairs, and on the web. I was able to contribute to public awareness of CRISP's top ten priority invasive species, focusing primarily on the emerald ash borer and Asian Longhorned beetle.
My most notable project, which I completed with the other summer intern Kersten Laveroni, was a Youtube series. Each episode in the series explained how the species was introduced, how to identify it, and most importantly- what to do to stop the spread in the Catskills. It was fun to research each species and then locate where it was found in our region- often taking adventurous road trips. I also had fun developing my video presence and now appreciate actors who memorize pages of script much more! I am sure that this project will continue to raise awareness and contribute to CRISP's work long after I leave my internship position :) Check out CRISP's youtube channel to watch the videos.
Another fun project was working with children at local school districts, the Frost Valley YMCA, and the summer camp program at Mine Kill State Park. During these visits I introduced the concept of what an invasive species is and why it is important to protect the Catskills from them. I highlighted the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle using activities such as games, specimen samples, coloring activities, and trivia questions. It always amazes me just how much children can learn in a short amount of time. CRISP's efforts here will go a long way in sustaining a movement of environmental awareness.
I also had the opportunity to pursue a more independent project on agricultural pests. I created a page on the CRISP website that highlighted several of the agricultural pests that are a issue in New York. The page also provides resources to learn about integrated pest management, as a sustainable method to control and prevent crop damage from pests. I also created a pamphlet on the brown marmorated stink bug, a pest that causes damage to many fruit crops. This pamphlet will be used at future CRISP events. This project was a great way to connected CRISP's goals to my personal interest in food and agriculture.
I could not have asked for a better Internship. Working with Meredith Taylor, the director of CRISP, as well as the staff at the Catskill Center, was a pleasure and I truly appreciate their leadership and guidance. The experience was above and beyond all of my expectations and I have no doubt that this experience will continue to benefit me as I pursue a career in the environmental field.