student interns from Central Lakes College (CLC), Brainerd, seem to be
everywhere this summer. Thirty full-time interns in
2012 have logged thousands of hours working in Minnesota and Wisconsin for
natural resources agencies, primarily the Department of Natural Resources. “I think it is an
impressive testament for our NR program and the students,” said instructor Dr.
Bill Faber, internship coordinator. He said 19 students took internships for
academic credit and 11 students were non-academic interns not required by their
hiring agency to register for internship credits. Those 11 earned small
stipends. Rarely are room and board provided. For one academic intern, summer hasn’t ended, and
the work offers more than college credits.
things I never thought I would do as part of natural resources education,” said
Katie Geissler (shown), a 2013 Associate in Applied Science degree candidate whose
sights are set on a park management career.
Silver Bay is working for the Minnesota DNR’s Parks and Trails Division at
Tettegouche State Park, Silver Bay. She was happy to have just a five-mile
drive to work.
to more than 330,000 in 2011.
visitor center, the summer of 2012 brought a steady schedule of
safer, five-foot-wide path to Shovel Point at the mouth of the Baptism River.
“We rebuilt it away from the bank to eliminate the erosion factor and for
safety reasons, covering up exposed tree roots and upgrading the boardwalk,”
Park Assistant Manager Jason Peterson, can add carpentry to her resume’, thanks
to the park visitor center construction project. She helped a crew salvage wood
at the old visitor’s center to be recycled and put to use by Habitat for
park boardwalk ruined in the mid-June deluge that was a disaster down the road
in Duluth. “We were lucky here,” she said. She was half the crew for trenching
and installing a water line from the Tettegouche campground shower building so
recreational vehicles could have easy access.
other landscapes within the jurisdiction of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division
and directly supervised by Tettegouche personnel: the back-packer and hiker
paradise of George H. Crosby Manitou State Park with its 23 miles of trails, 200-acre
Temperance River State Park, two river-enhanced state forest primitive campgrounds
at Finland, Minn., and a North Shore landmark rock formation, Palisade Head.
two long days with a colleague to build a 21-foot bridge of thick timber on a
pulling invasive weeds such as cow parsnips from the campground, road repairs,
brush mowing and weed whipping, and serving visitors at the trailer that is a
temporary site for merchandise formerly sold in the gift shop. She also sold
conservative in my ratings (of interns),” said supervisor Peterson. “Katie
stands out among the 25 or so I have had the pleasure to supervise. She has
excellent work ethic and a clear vision of what she wants to accomplish. She
worked well independently and as part of a small group.”
the University of Minnesota-Crookston to pursue her bachelor’s degree. She will
leave CLC with not only her AAS degree but also a wildlife tourism certificate.
honor student Luke Burlingame of Maple Grove worked with the DNR Wetland
Wildlife Research Group. “I had
a two-part internship,” he said, which included a nesting success study for
Ring‑Necked ducks as well as banding ducks.
from my first day in mid‑May until the end of June,” he said. His supervisor
was Dr. Charlotte Roy, DNR waterfowl researcher. “On July 1st I switched over
to banding ducks with a different supervisor, Jim Berdeen, and did this until
graduate Josh Norenberg on one project.
especially rewarding experience. I plan to pursue a wildlife ecology degree at
the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Getting real hands-on experience
with wildlife has really fueled interest in a wildlife career.
learned at CLC outside the classroom. I wasn’t watching videos or hearing about
wildlife research; I was doing it,” he said. “This was real, hands-on field
work that the science and data is based on. I can look at duck number reports
and know that those numbers are based partially on the work I did. It’s a great feeling.”
enjoyed having him on staff,” said Dr. Roy. “He worked hard and had a great
attitude every day, and even on the occasional weekend day when I needed extra
help. I would hire him again and would gladly recommend him to others.”
assignments were Christopher Broz, 21, Maple Grove – DNR Fisheries, Detroit
Lakes; Ben Froelich, 19, Pierz – DNR Fisheries, Finland; Rick Guderian, 22, Elk
River – DNR Fisheries, Tower; Eric
Rauchman, 25, North Mankato – DNR Fisheries, Brainerd; Josh Wickstrom, 24,
Harris – DNR Fisheries, Hinckley; Willy Puckett, 35, Monticello – DNR Wildlife, Shallow Lakes; Robert Babb,
28, Pequot Lakes – DNR Parks and Trails,
Crow Wing State Park; Josh Putzke, 23, Sebeka
– DNR Parks and Trails, Itasca
State Park; Mitch Lundeen, 21, Little Falls – Crow Wing County Land Services, Forestry;
Mark Schneider, 31, Little Falls – DNR Ecological and Water Resources, Aquatic
Invasive Species Technician; these seven were working for DNR Ecological and
Water Resources as Watercraft Inspectors: Nichole Davis, 19, Bemidji; Jodi
DuBay, 21, Apple Valley; Sarah Eckberg, 32, Baxter; Andy Frank, 20, Flensburg; Chris
Larson, 20, Braham; Sharia Merten, 31, Brainerd; Zach Skwira, 21, Bowlus.
Aitkin – City of Brainerd; Nicole Baker, 23, Mankato – US Army Corps of
Engineers; Paul Kedrowski, 19, Princeton – US Army Corps of Engineers; Laura
May, 27, Little Falls – Camp Ripley Environmental/ Wildlife; Matt Toenies, 20,
Randall – Camp Ripley Environmental/Wildlife; Ryan Handeland, 25, Cushing – Camp
Ripley Waters; Jake Smude, 23, Brainerd – Camp Ripley Waters; Michelle Dickson,
31, Pine River – DNR Fisheries, Brainerd; Jenny Carlson, 22, Little Falls – MN
Pollution Control Agency, Brainerd; Justin Forrest, 22, Brainerd – WIDNR Invasive
Species Diver, Lake Tomahawk, Wis.; Michael Kotzenmacher, 31, Baxter – Crow
Wing County Watercraft Inspector.
are required to write papers of five to 10 pages in length about their
internship and the agency for which they worked. Each must also 10-minute
Powerpoint presentation to students or other audiences.