Prairie Partner Intern 2008

Graduated University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008

Current Position: Curator of the Naturalist Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)

Favorite memory of the program: We would often have theme days on which the interns would dress to fit the occasion. I remember "crazy hat day" vividly. We also made t-shirts colored with natural dyes. I particularly remember celebrating the Fourth of July by pulling buckthorn at the UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve adorned in red, white, and blue.

Impact of the program on your academic and/or career path: The internship gave me an appreciation for field work. After finishing the internship, I spent the better part of the next five years conducting field research. The internship also helped shape my personal interests and research objectives. In 2015 I completed my M.S. in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development.

How you used what you learned in the internship in future employment:  I currently work as a museum curator and educator at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The exhibit I curate receives about 70,000 visitors a year. I have the pleasure to interact with many of these visitors. In this capacity, I promote the use of native plants in landscaping and home gardening. I have worked with interns and other staff members to develop an adult coloring page and an educational cart that demonstrate how to create wildlife habitat using native species. I have also developed a Science Olympiad exam on the invasive species of North Carolina. Further, I have convinced my friends to plant an acre of native wildflowers and grasses on their farm.