Return to Headlines

Intern Spotlight: Mollie Crossman, NCHS Senior STEM student Arlington Echo Summer Intern 2019

Mollie

Tell me about yourself: 

I am a STEM senior in the Green Technology pathway. Throughout my high school career I have let my passion for the environment drive me to do projects at NCHS which allowed us to receive the Green School Certification in 2019. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my friends, reading, and hiking. 

Why did you choose to pursue an internship?

I pursued an internship because I wanted work experience. I wanted to better prepare myself for the individualism and responsibility of college and work. 

Name and Location of Internship

Environmental Data Collection: GLOBE protocol monitoring for Arlington Echo 

Job title/department:

I was an intern for the Environmental Literacy Team. 

Supervisor's name and title:

Dr. Tanya Marushak who is a teacher specialist in the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education office at Arlington Echo. 

Coolest project you worked on:

The coolest project I worked on was being able to collaborate with the other internship group to combine our projects. 

One thing you have learned that you will take with you:

I learned that making relationships with your coworkers is very important. Having a group of interns there to brainstorm with and being able to talk to the Arlington Echo staff about problems and ideas was very helpful. 

Daily internship duties:

Each day my partner and I were responsible for a number of tests. We would collect water data including water temperature, air temperature, secchi disk, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, and pH. This data was all uploaded to the GLOBE database, which is a worldwide citizen science program that is used to collect data to learn about our world, to provide data to scientists, and watch for problems. The data was also collected for the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, which also required us to take a phytoplankton tow each day. The tow would provide us with a water sample that was looked at under a microscope to look for harmful phytoplankton. 

Part of the internship allowed my partner and me to choose tests we would be interested in doing. We decided to test soil for fertility (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) and pH. Our project became interesting when we were able to map our data on a map which another intern at Arlington Echo created on GIS. With the map available to us, we were able to take a sample from each of the 10x10 meter squares that the grid on the map was made of. So that data could be specific to the location on the property. 

Coolest project you worked on:

The coolest project I worked on was being able to collaborate with the other internship group to combine our projects. 

One thing you have learned that you will take with you:

I learned that making relationships with your coworkers is very important. Having a group of interns there to brainstorm with and being able to talk to the Arlington Echo staff about problems and ideas was very helpful. 

Best piece of advice you would give to a junior who is looking to pursue an internship:

I advise any junior applying for internships to apply to as many as they can. It never hurts to apply and interview even if you do not end up deciding to work there. When doing interviews you can learn a lot more about the place and the people that work there which may further convince you to do it. 

Describe one experience at your internship that you will never forget:

One of the days at my internship Dr. Marushak, my advisor, bought t-shirts for each of the six interns to tie-dye. Throughout the whole summer we all wore these tie-dyes on every Tuesday and so did the staff. It was really fun to do a fun activity with my fellow interns and feel like part of the staff. 

What are your plans after graduation:

My plans after graduation are to attend a community college and then transfer to a four year school. I will be pursuing a degree in a science field, of which I have not decided upon yet. I hope to work with the environment in some way through working in research. 

Testimonial from Ms.Tanya Marushak

Mollie was an amazing asset for Arlington Echo this summer.  After a few days of training, she worked independently to collect soil and temperature data using GLOBE protocols.  When Mollie encountered ambiguous results, she was able to troubleshoot to optimize the protocol given the resources she had available.  Her team worked with another group to create a layer in ArcGIS for the soil data that they collected.”