Student Experiences

Environmental Science Internships and Practica

  • Neihl Williamson: CWI intern 2006, 2007 – PSU Hershey doing research on chromatin condensation factors
  • Brittane Miller: CWI intern 2006
  • Nicole Rhodes: CWI intern 2006, 2007 – Aquatic Science Technician, with Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – did Freshwater mussel surveys to collect data on species – measured length and sex
  • Kate Olsen: CWI intern 2006
  • Tanya Fry: 2007 graduate, CWI intern 2006
  • Chris Dempsey: 2007 graduate, entering graduate school Lehigh University, Environmental Science
  • Jen Yuda: CWI Intern 2007 and Summer 2007 at University of Maryland – Coral Reef Bleaching, and Department of Environmental Protection Pennsylvania West Nile Virus (Summer 2006)
  • Brittany Barto: CWI Intern 2007
  • Brent Hile: CWI Intern 2007 (Hellbender project)
  • Kevin Arvai: Summer Science Intern, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office worked with Peter Bergstrom, Ph. D on submerged Aquatic Vegetation and water quality specialist, assisted with his SAV research and developed a project, also worked with Derek Orner a fisheries biologist – created a "grants online" data base
  • Travis Burt: Entomology Intern – assisted a watershed study of Schuylkill River based on benthic macroinvertebrates – sorted bugs, analyzed results, and presented for local watershed groups
  • AJ Francavilla: Rutgers Institute for Marine and Coastal Science – Marine Policy Intern
  • Christy Hensler: Worked at the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as a Scientific and Technical Intern, Summer 2007, CWI Intern
  • Tapuwa Munjoma: CWI Intern 2007 and continuing research with Dr. Petokas and Dr. Zimmerman – Environmental Practicum
  • Jenn Stinner: CWI Intern 2007
  • Vreeland Wood: Worked for an Environmental Air Pollution Testing Company as a field technician – helped perform air sampling tests from various industrial smoke stacks and helped to create test reports

Clean Water Institute Interns

  • Niehl Williamson:
    Throughout the semester I have spent approximately four hours every Monday and Wednesday morning at the Williamsport central wastewater treatment plant laboratory. There I observed all of the QA and QC tests performed on drinking water samples from around the city, river water samples from above and below plant discharge sites, and influent/effluent samples from both the central and west plants. Tests I observed and occasionally assisted with when possible include; calcium hardness, residual and total chlorine, dechlorination, alkalinity, conductivity, turbidity, volatile acids, choliform MPN, fluoride, and BOD. I also would go out with Jeff Hakes about once a week to collect river samples as well as industrial samples from various companies in the city. I was also able to tour both plants and the well fields in Newberry. While touring the well field I observed as Jeff measured the levels of all the wells.
  • Mandee Lane:
    Over the past semester I have been working on testing samples from Cromaglass units. The first few weeks I sampled from the Cromaglass unit at the Cromaglass factory. After that the Cromaglass unit at the sewage treatment plant needed to be tested twice a week, I began testing on Tuesdays and Jennie Yuda tested it on Wednesdays. A sample of the influent and the effluent liquid was collected weekly. Testing on the samples included chemical tests: pH, total phosphorus, ortho phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia; BOD tests; TSS tests; and mixed liquor TSS tests. Over the semester we have seen very high ammonia and nitrate levels. The last few weeks of the semester I also went back to the Cromaglass unit at the sewage treatment plant later, after its aeration cycle, and took the temperature and the dissolved oxygen reading. All of this data helps the Cromaglass Company monitor the effectiveness of their wastewater treatment systems. I was also helping Jennie collect data for her honors project, which was on the Cromaglass test unit project.
  • Jennifer Stiner:
    I have been working with Renee Carey and Alice Trowbridge of the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy. I have worked on two projects. The first of which is the Susquehanna river trail. Throughout this project I have been working to identify 4 sites that are to be recommended for improvement by community groups. Each site will eventually have a developed restoration plan that will be implemented with the support of locals. These sites are being chosen on three common variables, riparian buffer and bank stabilization, Site condition and parking, and ease of improvement. Most sites have been visited and evaluated by this point. Photos were taken at the sites and then captioned and classified to aide the assessment. I have also worked to help develop a list of proper plant species to utilize during the improvement projects in the riparian zones. The second project is the Pine Creek Oral Histories. Oral history discussions are being held with many residents of the Pine Creek watershed. I have worked to classify them as well as in the development of the proposal for the computer system to present the research from the reports to tourists and visitors. This involved the research of the computer required, assistance in understanding all of the components and considerations required for this, as well as the development of the recommendation for the committee. I have had a few other simple office experiences with them, such as time at their booth at the Trout Kickoff, and computer work within the office.
  • Tim Caldwell:
    This spring I was responsible, along with a few others, to sample the Susquehanna River and monitor its nutrients, and other parameters. The duties included everyone month we sampled from 12 different sites. The top of our sampling range was up around Lick Run which is north of Lock Haven and then down all the way to Sunbury. The specific things we were sampling for were, pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, flow rates, nitrates, nitrites, total phosphorous, orthophosphates, total dissolved solids (TDS), alkalinity, and conductivity. These parameters give us indication of several things, one the TDS, pH, alkalinity and conductivity give us an indication of how much acid mine drainage (AMD) the river is receiving. The other nutrient parameters including nitrogen and phosphorous gives us a reading on how much nutrient pollution the river is receiving from agricultural runoff and sewage treatment plants. The last thing we sampled for were coliform bacteria, these gave us an indication of how much dangerous bacteria were entering the river from different sources such as livestock fecal material, and possibly human fecal material from sewage plants. After all this water was sampled and analyzed, we then took the data and compiled it with previous sampling and formed data tables and graphs so we could see how much progress the river is making or isn’t making. Other part of my practicum experience included helping on the Big Bear assessment. On this project I would help the primary researcher (Nicole Rhodes) with any types of sampling she needed including macroinvertebrate sampling, water chemistry, and measurements. I also helped Jennie Yuda briefly with her project on the Chromaglass.
  • AJ Francavilla:
    I worked with the Audubon Society to create interpretative graphs referencing the number of species observed over the past 50 years in addition to plotting the trends of specific species. Other projects included GIS and a trip to Harrisburg to interact with state representatives in addition to updating the CWI website.

Recent Placements of Environmental Science Students

  • Kevin Arvai '08: Environmental Anthropology at American University
  • Jennie Yuda '08: Masters in Environmental Health at University of St. Louis
  • AJ Francavilla '08: Masters of Environmental Policy at Drexel University
  • Heather Jacobs: Earned a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University and now the Riverkeeper®for the Pamlico-Tar River in North Carolina
  • Rain Bell: Lycoming County Conservation District, Agricultural Pest Inspector
  • Matt Bennett: National Park Service Delaware River
  • Brandon Ford: US Department of Agriculture, Field Technician
  • Rebecca Fox: Marine Estuary Environmental Science, University of Maryland
  • Kristina Kleintop: Lancaster Environmental Laboratories, PA
  • Kristin Brown: PA Fish and Boat Commission, Fisheries Technician
  • Alisa DeDay: Working at the Marine Mammal Expo at Hershey Park, PA
  • Heather Eggleston: Aquatic Biologist, Stroudsburg Water Research Center, PA
  • Eric Hoover: Environmental Education Adventure Expeditions, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Brian Rockwell: Microbiology Technician at West Company, Jersey Shore, PA
  • Michael McMonigal: Conservation Specialist, Boy Scout's of America, State Office
  • Geoffrey Smith: Fisheries/Benthic Biologist, Delaware River Basin Commission, Trenton, NJ
  • Matthew Sweet: Environmental Tech, Seewald Labs, Williamsport, PA
  • Rosalee Wise: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Andrew Klinger: PA Department of Public Health, Wilkes Barre, PA
  • Sean Cramer: Tyson Foods Inc., Environmental Lab, York, PA