Employer: U.S. Geological Survey, Summer intern
Degree: Geology, Spring 2015
Collect baseline water quality data for the entire state of Wyoming. This summer we are focusing on collecting samples from domestic wells in Sheridan County, Wyoming, as part of a program the USGS has in place to help monitor shallow aquifer contamination in high contamination risk watersheds. As an intern, I am responsible for learning everything there is to know about groundwater sampling, and I spend two weeks a month up in Sheridan with a staff hydrologist sampling well water, conducting total coliform/ecoli bacterial tests on their water using mobile lab equipment, as well as using titration methods to find total alkalinity of the water. I take photographs of well sites, GPS measurements, field notes, make site sketches, and compile this data into ArcGIS maps.
Work for consulting firms around Colorado or Montana.
Advice for future students:
I was selected for this internship based off of my outstanding work and grades during field camp. Good grades do pay off, and can get you this NAGT/USGS yearly internship if you get a stellar grade at field camp. Perhaps the most important bit of advice though, is to go beyond regular classwork in college. Think about it. When you graduate, everyone else will have the same amount of experience as you do. Those who get hired have additional experience such as undergraduate research, internships, and assistant work. Talk to your professors and grad students. Bug them time and again until they let you help with field work, lab work, research etc… Research internships and get as many as you can before you graduate. This way, you have a chance to see if what you are doing is really what you want to be doing. Don’t wait until after you graduate to find out that you really don’t enjoy studying groundwater or geophysics in an actual work-environment. Real world work is way different than studying in academia. Also, wait to have children until after you’re done with college! Good luck