At my internship with MCCD, I was able to help with a variety of projects, and work with each technician to get exposure to their daily tasks. I worked with the Erosion and Sedimentation technician on NPDES permits and dirt and gravel roads restoration, the agricultural technician to write nutrient management plans and conduct farm inspections, and with the watershed technician to carry out stream restoration and wetland installations.
My experience was well rounded, and I was able to bring a bit of my background in to help the technicians do their jobs better. I told MCCD I was very interested in GIS and mapping, and was able to produce helpful maps and conduct analysis on issues they would have otherwise been in the dark about. For example, they received a complaint from a homeowner about a storm water issue. The homeowner believed the issue was being caused by the croplands next to them. However, I conducted a watershed analysis and was able to determine the area of drainage was actually coming from the development itself. Development increases impervious surfaces, so the new housing development in the area now needs more storm water management infrastructure.
What I wish was different
I don't wish for anything different in my internship. I was fortunate to be able to work with MCCD in person, on-site, when I know many of my colleagues' internships were cancelled. I was able to gain valuable experience which prepared me for future jobs, and I built a network of connections in the field which I will utilize in my job search.
I would highly recommend MCCD to anyone looking to enter the conservation field. I learned a great deal at my internship that I would not have in a classroom setting. Internships are a great way to gain experience and prepare for a professional career. I am grateful that it is a requirement for Geography and Planning majors.