Gaucho Intern Spotlight: Featuring Career’s Internship Scholarship Program 2016 Recipients

scholarship program bannerStudent Name: Katrina Miller

Expected graduation date: Winter 2017

Major(s): Aquatic Biology
Organization Name & Internship Title:

Location of Internship:

UCSB – SBC MBON, Dr. Robert Miller Lab

Tatoosh School – Coffman Cove, Alaska  (focus of spotlight)

  1. Briefly describe a typical day at your internship, such as the type of training you received or project you worked on. Any highlights or favorite moments?

This summer I spent six weeks in Alaska learning about the ecology and environmental policies of the Tongass National Forest and performing monitoring research on a watershed that had undergone restoration work by the Forest Service. A typical day during my time in Alaska would start waking up in my tent, preparing breakfast on portable propane burners on the beach, gearing up for the day’s objective whether it take place in the forest, a steam, tidepools, or out on sea kayaks. Then, I would spend the better part of a long Alaskan summer day alongside colleagues and fellow students collecting data, monitoring wolf cameras, identifying flora and fauna, and collaborating with local interest groups on how to promote environmental stewardship in Alaska’s growing communities and economy.

  1. How did this internship or research experience help you to explore and prepare for your career goals? (i.e. consider the biggest take-away(s) or skills from the experience that will help you in the future; or valuable connections you made along the way).

Being someone that has always been science minded and research oriented I appreciated the opportunity to practice and hone in on those skill but I left the Alaskan wilderness surprised to feel the most gratitude for the unexpected and drastic shift in the way that I will now approach environmentalism. Through talking with members of the Forest Service, owners of local logging operations, fishermen, hunters, members of the Tlingit tribe, and local community members I gained an understanding that most people, despite their background, desire thriving communities and ecosystems and that opinions only vary on the understanding of how to accomplish such. This is critical because it showed me the importance of developing relationships of mutual respect and the power of collaboration, rather than opposition, in creating progressive social and environmental change.

  1. In what ways did Career Services’ Internship Scholarship award help you to participate in this summer internship?

During the school year the majority of my time is split between school work and my internship with the Santa Barbara Channel Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (SBC MBON). I love the work that I do through this internship, the people I work with, and the opportunities it provides. I’m currently completing my scientific diving course so that I can begin SCUBA diving for SBC MBON and hope to continue research diving into my professional career. However, because my current internship is unpaid, receiving the Career Services’ Internship Scholarship has alleviated my financial stress just enough to allow me to continue my internship at UCSB, do research in Alaska, and get certified as a scientific diver, all of which I don’t believe I could have done without this generous scholarship.

  1. What 1-2 pieces of advice would you give to fellow Gauchos to help them find and apply to this specific internship, or a similar internship?

Go into the Career Services and talk to some of the staff members! They are all very friendly and helpful and can help direct you towards how and when to apply for the Career Services Internship Scholarship or others like it! The Financial Aid Office is another great resource to help discover various scholarship opportunities.