The purpose of the Urban Watershed Igniting Streams of Learning Science(UWISLS) internship is to provide students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and experience in different fields of biological disciplines, organizational management, technology, and community engagement through service and education.The UWISLS internship is a multifaceted program that explores roles as both student and teacher in different fields of biology. This will be accomplished specifically through 10 weeks of work at various different sites with different professionals.
Our goals are: 1) to educate students about the importance of utilizing ecologically sound methods in order to protect the overall environment, specifically watersheds; 2) to incorporate educational components which conform to the EPA mandated educational curriculum overseen by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District(NEORSD) for grades k-12 through the development of service learning objects which focus on unique aspects of this project; 3) to reduce sewer runoff from urban impervious concrete to the environment 4) Restore local wetlands around the Northeast Ohio; 5) to develop within our interns professional skills that will translate into professional service for the community;
Components of the Program
There are four basic components to the UWISLS internship program. One is the ISLS institute, the service learning project developed at Kent State, the restoration of five different wetlands around the Hiram Field Station, and technology and education.
-ISLS Institute Component
The ISLS internship component spans a 3 week training period in all the listed activities, a two week 8 day non-residential institute working with different high school students and teachers located in the Big Creek Watershed as well as various professionals to accomplish the task of reinventing the way science is taught, and a post institute wrap up and collection of data. The activities accomplished at the institute are as followed:
- ORAM (Ohio Rapid Assessment Method)
- PHWH (Primary Headwater Habitat)
- VLRAP (Vacant Lot Rapid Assessment Protocol)
- BHEI (Bank Hazard Erosion Index)
- QHEI (Quality Habitat Evaluation Index)
- Water Quality
- Nature Walk
- Stream Morphology
- Invasive Species
-Service Learning with Kent State Component
I will be working with Dr. Oscar Rocha as a Stewardship Liaison in his conservation biology course. This is a 15 week course focusing on different aspects of conservation biology. During the course there are two Saturdays in which the students travel to
-Restoration of 5 Wetlands Component
The James H. Barrow Field Station encompasses a large section of land containing five man-made wetlands. These wetlands need reconstructed to maintain their usefulness. The reconstruction of these wetlands will include:
-Technology and Education Component
The technology and education component of this internship includes a large variety of aspects used in different ways. Technology is incorporated into all three of the other components through different software and hardware including but not limited to:
- Laser Leveling
- Remote Sensing
- website design, programming, and maintenance
- Samsung Galaxy Tab II-used for documentation of pictures, journaling, submission of protocol forms, and
- Communication with High School Students-This is a very unique skill because it allows for myself to learn to connect and communicate with people of different age groups. By building skills in this way I am a more rounded worker.
- Working with professionals(Cleveland Metro Parks)-working actual professionals on a day to day basis provides a very useful skill. By going through actual procedures with the professionals allows for accurate and verifiable results in certain protocols.
- Review skills(Daily debriefings)-This is a very useful and resourceful skill. By reflecting and reviewing the daily events we can both expand and absorb the days important points and topics. It is a very useful organizational tool to collaborate both ideas and data.
- Time Management-As with any job time management is completely crucial. We followed a complete schedule that was built by the program directors with the help of the Stewardship Liaisons that listed our events and activities throughout the 10 weeks.
- Team building -