As summer intern season begins, we are wistfully thinking about all the inspiring young leaders that have helped us in summers past. Last year we were fortunate enough to have Emma Rodvien come intern with us in CBF's Education Department as part of the William & Mary Teachers for a Competitive Tomorrow Fellowship (TCT). Emma had taken part in many meaningful CBF experiences pior to her internship—from participating in a Karen Noonan Center Field Experience to taking part in several CBF Student Leadership Courses. These experiences led her to pursue education in college and to come back to us again last summer as an intern. Take a peak below at her thoughts on her lastest CBF experience.
As I prepared myself for this internship, I distilled a set of questions that I hoped to answer during my time as an intern. I applied to the TCT program with the overarching goal of gaining insight into the education field. If learning about environmental education was my organizing question, my supporting questions were as follows: How does outdoor education differ from classroom education? In what ways can the lessons and experiences from outside the classroom be effectively introduced within the classroom? How can I utilize my interests and talents—science and otherwise—for education purposes? Investigating these questions was a foremost expectation for my internship.
I dove into my internship hoping to learn more about the world of environmental non-profits. Prior to the internship, I was familiar with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation from a student's perspective. Naturally, gaining an "insider's perspective" into CBF as an employee or educator was a true curiosity of mine, one that would allow me to explore the intersections of my interests in communications, social science, and the environment.
Observations from the Field
Perhaps the most meaningful lesson that I learned throughout my internship was how the Bay can intrigue every sense. This concept was certainly embodied in the field experiences of my internship! Each of my senses was heightened in the field, captivated by the life and spirit of the Bay. To focus on just one would be to deny the Bay's influence on another; instead, I will recount Bay memories from the perspective of all five senses:
1. I saw... The orange sunrise over Port Isobel's eastern marshes, the pink sunset over its western shore, the frantic scattering of fiddler crabs around my feet, the sky severed by lightning bolts, illuminated in a tie-dyed pattern of black and white, the slow and synchronized Clagett cows migrating between fields, the momentary terror that dances across students' faces at first touch of a catfish, the proud smiles when they finally pick one up and hold it.
2. I smelled... The pungent odors of a wastewater treatment plant, the salty smack of Virginia Beach air, the slow and wafting scent of marsh detritus, the sweet smell of blue crabs and the tang of Old Bay seasoning, the earthy air as a storm blows in over Port Isobel.
3. I tasted... Sustainably grown radishes from Clagett Farm, the oily lips of menhaden bait, the bitter sting of brackish water against my tongue, the delicious flakiness of Captain Charles' fried trout.
4. I heard... The comforting cluck of Clagett's chickens, the deafening roar of airplanes and helicopters over the Potomac, the wind meandering its way through marsh grasses, the friendly horns of Tangier's boats, the roll of thunder and the crack of lightning, the subtle "whoooosh" of a blue heron overhead, the bubbling of blue crabs recirculating their water.
5. I touched... The pointy tops of Black Needlerush, the slippery side of a Spot fish, the prickly spikes of a Northern Puffer, the perfect smoothness of Diamondback Terrapin eggs, the blisteringly hot black seat of my canoe, the worn ropes of a trawl net, the bristly hair of Clagett's cows.
Ensure that Emma and future generations continue to have these life-changing moments along the Chesapeake. Support the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint!