When my supervisor at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency asked me to investigate the viability of urban forests during my internship there, that topic was new to me. I figured it out as I went, doing a lot of reading and meeting with experts. I found that urban forestry initiatives are efficient, cost-effective measures that are relatively easy for cities to implement. The internship taught me how to conduct research outside of an academic setting—and then explain it successfully.
My internship reinforced my interest in graduate school and further research, but even more importantly, it demonstrated how much I’ve learned at Mac.
At the end of the semester, I presented my findings to an audience that included representatives from the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Transportation, among other state agencies. I was nervous because of the group’s authority, but I knew my stuff, and I knew if I presented it well, they would listen. I hope my research will be used as a reference for people who have questions about urban forests—and maybe even help others suggest urban forests as a viable solution to combat climate change in Minnesota moving forward.
My internship reinforced my interest in graduate school and further research, but even more importantly, it demonstrated how much I’ve learned at Mac. My coursework framed my research. The skills I’ve learned in classes here—organization, analyzing sources, and synthesizing information—were crucial.