Landscape Ecology Internship

The purpose of the Landscape and Restoration Ecology internship is to provide students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and experience in restoration and development of landscapes in accordance with ecologically sound practices, horticulture, organizational management, technology, and community engagement through service and education. This will be accomplished specifically through the planning and installation of a historic orchard in un-utilized space on Hiram College’s campus. 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 Ohio’s standards for the Life Sciences for grades k-12 through the development of modules which focus on unique aspects of this project; 3) to reclaim and restore inaccessible land for the benefit of the community; 4) to develop within our interns professional skills that will translate into professional service for the community; 5) to cultivate an appreciation for the historic significance of the gardens/orchard in relation to the individuals that created them and the community in which they reside; 6) to create a sense of ownership for the combined efforts of stewardship by a community dedicated to meeting the mission of HCGS, and, 7) to instill a general appreciation for the complex beauty nature has to offer. Components of the Program There are two basic components to the Landscape and Restoration Ecology internship program. One consists of horticulture and landscaping; the other, technology and education. Horticulture and Landscaping Component The horticulture and landscaping component of the program consists of all activities involved in developing and maintaining a garden. This includes: • restructuring, restoring, and in some cases creating gardens, including design, development, and maintenance • learning about plant characteristics and use, considering soil type, microclimates, phenology, and aesthetics; • determination of the proper plants to be used based on the above listed factors • preparing the gardens/orchard for planting, watering, weeding, pruning, deadheading, fertilizing, mulching, maintaining paths, cultivating and cleaning out plant beds, maintaining trees, relocating plants and trees, eliminating plants and trees, controlling pests, and applying herbicide. Technology and Education Component The technology component consists of working with various technological software and hardware that will be integrated with work on and in the gardens to improve management of the gardens and the ability of HCGS to meet its mission of public education. Such technology includes, but may not be limited to: • creation of educational modules on orchard development, landscape ecology, landscape assesment, tool use, safety and other pertinent topics in accordance with Ohio educational standards for junior high and highschool students • digital image manipulation (Adobe Photoshop) • mapping (ArcView and Global Positioning Satellite technology) • website design, programming, and maintenance • digital camera technology Inter-program Activities Integrated into the internship are particular, special activities that interns may take advantage of to increase their knowledge and experience, and ultimately their professional skills. These activities can be selected to suit the needs of individual interns: Personal Projects • Development of a historic orchard at Bonney Castle • Developing proficiency with all aspects of gardening Field Trips • Interns may participate in field trips to various gardens and gardening establishments to broaden their scope of understanding of horticulture and garden management, as well as to inspire them as they visit organizations with different missions, goals and budgets. • Planned trips to the OSU Extension office, local apple orchards for pruning instruction, and Cleveland Botanical Garden. Skills Developed The Hiram College Garden Society maintains its goals of providing both beautiful gardens and educational opportunities for the benefit of the Hiram community. The Landscape and Restoration Ecology internship program provides community service in the forms of public education and outreach through the development of educational modules to be utilized by area science teachers, as well as aesthetic improvement of the community. Interns themselves will benefit in many ways from the program. There are very specific skills that the Internship Program hopes to develop in its interns to help them grow into young professionals who can further contribute to their communities in the future. Such skills are: Organization and Management • Interns are given freedom to work with informed independence to accomplish tasks; as such, interns are encouraged to be self-motivated, organize, and manage their own work to meet needs, standards, and deadlines of the HCGS. Problem Solving • Interns will be given opportunities to use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to make informed independent decisions on how to accomplish given tasks. Interpersonal Skills • Through interaction with the HCGS professionals and fellow interns, interns will develop strong interpersonal skills, including oral and written communication, community needs assesment, teamwork, negotiation, networking, and presentation skills. Information Technology • Interns will work extensively with technology in tandem with garden work to better provide for garden management and the Hiram community. Specialty Skills • Interns will develop not only professional skills regarding horticulture, landscaping, and various technologies, but professional skills regarding the theme of their particular internship program, in this case skills regarding fruit tree planting and maintenaince as well. Logistics of the Service Learning Internship Program • Number of Positions: 1-3 • Time Frame of the Program: Spring ’05-? • Hours of Work: up to 15 hours per week • Compensation: • Contact Information: Professor Dennis Taylor via email at TaylorDJ@Hiram.edu or Zack Morrison at morrisonzh@hiram.edu