Summer Internship = ENVS Independent Study Course Credit

Thinking about a summer internship? You can use your internship experience to fulfill your independent study requirement for the ENVS major.

Sara Kuhn, a current senior in environmental sciences, was looking for opportunities to expand her interest in horticulture this past summer and ended up in Washington, DC as an intern with the Smithsonian Gardens Native Landscape project at the National Museum of the American Indian & the National Museum of Air and Space. According to the Smithsonian Gardens website, “The grounds surrounding the National Museum of the American Indian are considered an extension of the building and a vital part of the museum as a whole. By recalling the natural landscape environment that existed prior to European contact, the museums landscape design embodies a theme that runs central to the museum returning to a Native place.”

Among Sara’s responsibilities, she maintained the gardens at both the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the National Museum of Air and Space (NASM). Daily she assisted with planting both seasonal annuals and perennials, with special focus on the cropland at NMAI. The Smithsonian employs traditional methods of crop rotation producing food that is served in the cafeteria at the NMAI. Corn, beans and squash are grown using organic methods and Sara spent part of her summer introducing the public to ecologically safe aphid control through ladybug releases in the garden.

While Sara’s experience was profound in the level of engagement she experienced learning and living the life of a horticulturist at the world’s largest museum complex, perhaps more importantly her internship helped focus her post-Emory job search efforts in other prospective fields. As a student in ENVS 497: Undergraduate Internship, ENVS Professor Tracy Yandle and Paul Bredderman, Associate Director at the Career Center, helped Sara identify those aspects of her internship that she would like to see replicated in a career after graduation and those she would rather avoid.

The benefits of an internship are tremendous and the opportunity to earn credit toward your ENVS degree make it a great option for students who are eager to experience a job in a field of interest prior to graduation. From working as a counselor at a nature center to being a legal intern at an environmentally focused law firm, the possibilities are endless. Emory is committed to supporting your search efforts through the Career Center and the ENVS career counselor, Paul Bredderman, is available to get you started on your internship research – it is never too early to get started.