Students get relevant work experience
Trisha Levasseur, a UAF senior who will graduate this spring, is one example.
Her faculty advisor recommended her for an internship with the Bureau of Land Management. As part of a summer job in the White Mountains National Recreation Area, Levasseur surveyed visitors about their experiences, rebuilt trails and learned how BLM manages the recreation area.
A second internship with a professor involved surveying visitors to Interior public lands and then analyzing the results of the statewide survey. Levasseur, who is interested in outdoor recreation management, presented her findings at an undergraduate research day at UAF and at a national conference in Annapolis, Maryland.
Jessica Herzog, who is also a graduating senior, said that faculty encouraged her summer bird studies with biologists on the Seward Peninsula and at Kaktovik. They also encouraged her collaboration with graduate students, which led to a research project on golden eagles that won top honors at the UAF Research and Creative Activity Day competition in April. She presented her project at a raptor research conference in Utah in November. Levasseur appreciates her professors with the School of Natural Resources and Extension. “It really is a small program but the faculty make it pretty great and are always willing to help,” she said.
Both students especially valued NRM 290, a 10-day natural resources management field course and road trip around the Interior and Southcentral Alaska. The students learned firsthand about resource management issues and potential careers by meeting with natural resource managers for agencies, private industry and parks. The trip helped build camaraderie among the students and, Herzog said, ”You learn a lot about how other agencies and businesses operate.”