NRES Sophomore's NGRREC Internship

Katie Vogel

Kealie Vogel, a Sophomore in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Human Dimensions of the Environment, after completing NRES 108 (Environmental Science and Natural Resources Careers), wanted an internship that would allow her to explore various different career paths within NRES.  

She found what she was looking for in the summer internship program at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center in Alton, IL. Over the course of the 10-week program, Vogel learned about both qualitative and quantitative scientific research methods, spoke to environmental scientists working in a wide array of fields, spent time with fellow interns while talking about each person’s unique project, and devised and conducted, with the help of her advisor, the director of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Center for STEM, a study of the feelings, attitudes, knowledge, and perceptions that middle schoolers living in East St. Louis, IL had about the Mississippi River and water quality in the area.

The information gained over the course of the study is currently being used in the creation of the first Swarovski Waterschool located within the US, which has the goal of teaching children living along the Mississippi River about the importance of water quality, environmental stewardship, and water sanitation and hygiene and seeks to connect children living along major waterways throughout the world with each other. Additionally, as part of the internship, Vogel participated in a weeklong workshop that taught skills such as water quality assessment, proper lab conduct, and proper fieldwork conduct (both terrestrial and aquatic). At the end of the internship, she presented both an oral and poster-based report on my findings over the course of the study and its implications for the future.