Internships, Student Field Research, Student Research

Summer REU: Camille Mosley (C’19)

In November of her junior year, ENVS/BS student Camille Mosley started her search for a summer internship. She knew it was going to take time to find the right opportunity to explore her interests in ecology and scientific education.  In her search, she used the abundant resources of The Career Center, specifically the Green Career Cluster group, created by Career Center Associate Director Paul Bredderman, and she used Emory’s Handshake app. She also employed the vast resources of Google in her search for research opportunities and revisited organizations that she had learned about when exploring for internships the previous summer when she interned at Emory’s Oxford campus organic farm.

Camille landed on an opportunity in December at Georgia Tech’s BEE-Inspired REU program funded through the USDA/Urban Honey Bee project.  As part of the application process, she submitted a list of faculty she was most interested in working with in the program and also a recommendation letter. Camille’s early preparation paid off and she started her ten week summer research internship in May. Working 40 hours a week, Camille was fully immersed in the science of freshwater ecology. We asked Camille to provide a snapshot of her day-to-day over the ten weeks:

“The focus of the position was to complete an independent research project based on ecology in 10 weeks. The purpose of my project was to determine stream health and aquatic biodiversity of the Proctor Creek Watershed using eDNA technology. I interned for my mentor biologist Tamara Johnson with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Department of Interior). I learned about visual and kick net stream surveys and freshwater ecology. The lab procedures after field sampling were independent with procedural guidance from Dr. Emily Weigel in Georgia Tech’s School of Biological Sciences. My internship also included volunteer work every Friday in urban farms and community gardens. On Fridays we’d help the organizations with general upkeep and bee hive maintenance.”

The experience helped solidify Camille’s desire to pursue graduate studies in freshwater ecosystem ecology. She took advantage of access to faculty in different disciplines to discuss their own preparation and scope of research and came away with a broader understanding of what she could do within the scientific community. Most profoundly, Camille told us that the biggest takeaway from the experience was that she “learned that good science is a collaborative effort by multiple stakeholders of an ecosystem. I explored the uses of citizen science and learned how it can transform the boundaries of scientific research. I also learned how to be flexible and precise in laboratory procedures. “

Camille will expand upon her summer experience when she enrolls in ENVS 497: Undergraduate Internship in the fall semester with Professor Yandle. There she will further unpack her experience and explore next steps in her career and education.  ENVS 497 is one of the ways that students in ENVS can complete their required independent study core curriculum requirement. We encourage students to start their search early to find the right fit for a summer internship experience. We are so excited for Camille and look forward to the many great things that she will explore and experience as she begins her journey post-Emory, but for now we just wish her a great senior year!