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Practicum Experiences

The purpose of the practicum is to pursue an extended, focused endeavor that is tailored to meet an environmental fellow's individual goals and needs.

The practicum enhances a fellow's education by improving their environmental knowledge and skills in a practical or applied manner.  The practicum may take the form of an internship, an off-campus study program, supervised research, a civic project, or a creative endeavor.  Or it may be something that we have not yet envisioned!  Environmental fellows work closely with their advisor, the Environmental Fellows Program Office, and the Hubbard Center to find an opportunity that fits their personal, academic, and professional goals.

Practicum Highlights

Donna Riner

Research at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica

Donna with research

Donna is an Environmental Biology major and a student director for the Sustainability Leadership Program.  She completed her practicum at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica, where she studied Spanish and researched the soil quality of pasture land. Donna also spent a summer participating in National Science Foundation funded research on red maple seed production and viability in response to nutrient addition in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and has interned with Bee Public and the Patachou Foundation in Indianapolis, as well.  Read More

Connor Berry

Sustainable Development in Colombia

Connor in Colombia

Connor is an Urban Studies major and member of the Sustainability Leadership Program.  Connor worked on a UN-sponsored project to propose a plan to increase the sustainability and livability of Moravia, a neighborhood in Medellín, Colombia.  The goal was to find replicable ways to green and improve the neighborhood so that other neighborhoods could follow Moravia's lead.  During his practicum, Connor gained valuable experience working in a community based organization and with the government planning department to effect changes in the city.

Regan Giesting

Internship with the Nature Conservancy

Regan working at the Nature Conservancy

Regan is a Computer Science major with a minor in Biology. Her practicum experience was comprised of two internships, the first being a Digital Assets Intern at the Indiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.  Putting her technical skills to work, Regan compiled a database of photographs for the Conservancy's various social media platforms.  The second internship was with the Sustainability Leadership Program at DePauw, where she operated the campus thrift store, The Thrifty Tiger.  Over the course of two years, Regan increased sales and visibility for the thrift store through an advertising campaign and marketing events, which included a community wide garage sale and "pop-up" shops. 

Vy Le

Summer Research at DePauw

Gaging a stream with a current meter

Vy Le is an Environmental Geoscience major with a minor in Chemistry. She is a member of the Sustainability Leadership Program.  Vy interned at Buzzi Unicem-Alternate Fuels, where she helped conduct chemical tests on hazardous waste materials that are used as supplemental fuels to coal in the cement manufacturing process. Vy completed a second practicum experience conducting summer research at Depauw with Prof. Fred Soster on suspended sediment transport and sources in the Big Walnut Creek Watershed in Indiana.  The research will have implications for sediment control strategies that could help alleviate environmental problems related to runoff in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nicole Pasho

Peace Building in Jordan 

Nicole Pasho

Nicole Pasho is a History major with a minor in Environmental Geoscience. She is a member of the Sustainability Leadership Program, serving as project leader for the DePauw Environmental Policy Project two semesters. During that time Nicole coordinated an event titled "What Are We Thinking? Elections and Environmental Policy" and organized a group to attend the People's Climate March in Washington D.C. She was introduced, during a May Term, to the field of peace building and bridging communities with PeacePlayers International in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Nicole completed her practicum experience with EcoPeace Middle East as a summer intern with the "Good Water Neighbors" project in Amman, Jordan.

Cecilia Slane

Deconstruction and Environmental History of the DePauw Campus Farm House

Cecilia Slane

Cecilia is a History major and Honor Scholar.  She completed her practicum by researching the local and environmental history of the DePauw Campus Farm House and assisting with its deconstruction alongside Professors Jennifer Everett (Philosophy) and Jim Mills (Geosciences). Cecilia is also a member of the Sustainability Leadership Program and served as the Sustainable Energy project manager for two semesters. 

Coco Bernard

Internship in Sustainable Development

Coco Bernard

Coco Bernard is a Global Health major with an Environmental and Human Health focus. Coco completed her practicum through two internship experiences. Her first experience was as a project manager for the Sustainability Leadership Program's Community Outreach group.  As a project manager, she led a group working to bridge the gap between the DePauw and Greencastle communities. Her second internship was with The Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD). FSD is a non-profit organization that pairs with non-profits in six other countries in efforts to enhance the capacity of local communities and address environmental conservation, healthcare, and social and economic issues. 

Rafael Robert

Summer Internship at the DePauw Campus Farm

Rafael Robert at the Campus Farm

Rafael is an Environmental Geoscience and Spanish double major.  As a student director for the Sustainability Leadership Program, he helps lead and organize sustainability projects on campus.  Rafael completed his practicum at DePauw's Campus Farm, where he served as an apprentice to the farm manager, assisting in day-to-day tasks as well as decision making to improve efficiency of the farm's organic growing practices.  Rafael also studied abroad for a semester with the School for International Training's Comparative Ecology and Conservation program in Quito, Ecuador.

Kelsie Roberton

Internships in Global Sustainability and Food Production

Kelsie Robertson

Kelsie is an Environmental Studies major with a minor in Political Science. She interned during a summer with the Center of Sustainable Development in Bangalore, India as a research analyst studying organic farming in the state of Karnataka. She also studied abroad for a semester in Australia at the School of International Training (SIT): Sustainability and Environmental Action. During her time abroad with SIT she interned at a sustainable food company. Kelsie interacted and educated the public about sustainable food options and contributed to future product innovation. 

Haley Chute

Climate Change Impact on Trees

Haley Chute

Haley is an Environmental Geoscience major. During Winter Term, Haley participated in an independent study project where she researched the impact of climate change on trees in DePauw’s Nature Park and helped create DePauw’s first dendrochronology laboratory. Haley also conducted research during a summer, surveying the surface of Mars - a project funded through the National Science Foundation. She was able to present her research at the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans. 

Annie Dixon

Sustainable Transportation and Urban Development

Anna Dixon

Annie Dixon is a double major in Environmental Biology and Urban Ecology. She served as a student director for the Sustainability Leadership Program. Annie completed her practicum interning during a summer with both the Mad Farmers Collective on urban farms in Indianapolis and the Central Indianapolis Regional Transit Authority CIRTA). She created commuter routes for CIRTA and gained skills in data management and GIS software.  Annie had additional experiences participating in a summer-long research opportunity with DePauw Prof. Sarah Lee examining biodiversity-ecosystem functioning and the quality of nearby streams and traveling in the fall to Quito, Ecuador to attend the Habitat III Conference. Read More

Lucas Eckrich

Research on Public Opinion and Renewable Energy

Lucas Eckrich

Lucas is a History and Political Science double major. He completed his practicum conducting summer research on campus with Prof. Benegal, a faculty member of DePauw's Political Science Department. With an interest in researching public opinion and an eye toward pursuing future research opportunities, Lucas decided to investigate how the American public evaluates renewable energy. In collaboration with Prof. Benegal, Lucas created an original survey experiment and presented his unique data to faculty and students. 

Mary Satterthwaite

Teacher and Naturalist at Glacier Institute

Mary Satterthwaite

Mary Satterthwaite is a Spanish major with a minor in Philosophy. She interned during a summer at Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest as a Teacher/Naturalist at Big Creek Outdoor Education Center, a branch of Glacier Institute. She also worked two summers as an outdoor educator, building lesson plans and teaching at Briar Bush Nature Center. Mary also has three years of experience as a student manager working on the DePauw Campus Farm.

Sarah Farmer

Environmental Education Intern in Baltimore

Sarah Farmer

Sarah Farmer is a Geology and Studio Art double major interested in urban sustainability. She completed her practicum experience as an Environmental Education Intern teaching 1st-4th grade Baltimore City students an appreciation for the natural world through Project Learning Tree Curriculum. This opportunity was made possible by The Parks and People Foundation, a nonprofit working to green the city of Baltimore through community outreach and empowerment.

Madeline Piscetta

Internship with the World Wildlife Fund

Madeline with a sloth

Madeline is an Environmental Geoscience major with a minor in Music and a member of the Sustainability Leadership Program.  Madeline organized a spring semester event in the Green Center for the Performing Arts titled "WaterMusic: an Immersion Experience" that incorporated DePauw's University Choirs and Percussion Ensemble, professors of Biology and Geosciences, and guest hydro-ecologists and activists.  She completed her practicum as an intern with the World Wildlife Fund, helping to plan the WWF's annual Kathryn S. Fuller Science for Nature Symposium, an event that brings conservation scientists and environmental leaders from around the world together to discuss specific issues in the conservation field.  Read More

Annie Wyman

Environmental Justice in South Africa

Annie in Durban, South Africa

Annie is a Political Science major with a minor in Economics. She studied abroad in Durban, South Africa for a semester as a student in the School for International Training (SIT): Social and Political Transformation program. Annie completed her practicum while studying abroad, researching the Durban beachfront through an environmental justice lens - examining how infrastructure improvements have led to social and racial cohesion since the end of apartheid.

Molly Madden

Community Development in Madagascar

Molly in Madagascar

Molly is a Philosophy and Environmental Biology double major. She interned at Centre Valbio, a non-profit organization in Ranomafana, Madagascar. She worked with the Reforestation, Education, and Community Development project under Dr. Patricia Chapple Wright. Molly helped establish and manage tree nurseries in several remote villages in order to restore fragmented forests around the Kelilalina commune. She also assisted in planning research on local cash crops. You can read more about Molly’s experience in Madagascar on her blog

Gabby Jensen

Soil Research at the DePauw Campus Farm

Gabby Jensen

Gabby is an Environmental Geoscience major.  During a fall semester, she undertook a pilot research project at the DePauw University Campus Farm to comprehend the complexity and diversity of the soil, as well as the land use history.  Her research aimed to answer the following questions: What soil types are present at the farm and areas of possible expansion surrounding the farm, in what ways was this land being used in the past, and how will that usage affect current and future agricultural activity?

Cullen Hunter

Food Studies in Rome

Cullen in Italy

Cullen is an Interdisciplinary major interested in food and nutrition. She completed her practicum during a five week study at Gustolab International Institute for Food Studies in Rome, Italy.  Read More

Megan McCann

Lemur Conservation in Madagascar

Megan in Madagascar

Megan is an Environmental Biology major that completed her practicum studying abroad during a semester in Madagascar.  She conducted research on lemur calls with Dr. Patricia Chapple Wright, world renown lemur researcher and winner of the 2014 Indianapolis Prize, the World's Leading Award for Animal Conservation.  Megan connected with Dr. Wright when she visited the DePauw campus to present on her work.  Click here and here to listen to golden bamboo lemur territory calls that Megan recorded.  The golden bamboo lemur was discovered in 1986 by Dr. Wright.

Ellen Buening

Public Policy and Environmental Issues

Ellen Buening

Ellen is a Biology major, with a minor in biochemistry and concentration in pre-med. She was part of the Information Technology Associates Program  (ITAP) at DePauw and interned for the Environmental Fellows as the program's webmaster. Ellen completed her practicum as a summer intern for Bose Public Affair Group.  She explored how public policy matters influence environmental issues in Indianapolis, IN.  Read More

Ashley Junger

Water Quality and Deforestation in Panama and Costa Rica

Ashley Junger

Ashley is a Biology and English Literature double major. She completed her practicum in Panama, serving as a non-profit's chief science officer, where she helped small communities develop access to safe drinking water. Ashley also conducted summer research in a Costa Rican cloud forest studying the effect of deforestation on local butterflies. During a Winter Term, Ashley was chosen for an internship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts. There, she conducted research on the intersection of climate, oceans, and human activity.

Click here to read an article that Ashley wrote for Oceanus Magazine during her internship at Woods Hole. 

Kojo Addaquay

Environmental Consulting and Technology

Kojo Addaquay

Kojo is an Environmental Geoscience major. He completed his practicum by working on an independent project on campus, conducting an e-waste audit with DePauw's Solid Waste Working Group. Kojo was also a member of the Sustainability Leadership Program. Launched to equip the growing number of students interested in creating environmental change, the number of students participating in the SLP has grown to over 90, making it one of the largest programs of its kind. Read More 

Fellows Explore Environmental Issues Around the World

Practum experiences resources legend