In a few weeks, our 2012 intern, Jared Garland, will be coming onboard to work with us for the summer. Throughout his time with us, he’ll support our Nature Camp and develop new aspects of our educational programs and outreach materials. We’re excited to have him with us over the coming months and wanted to give you a chance to “meet” him here. Read his responses below to a few questions we asked him:
As of May 12th, I will have graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s of Science. During my time there I majored in Environmental Education (K-6) with a minor in Forestry. While initially planning to get directly involved in elementary school teaching, working with different programs throughout my time at Tech has opened my eyes to the many different possibilities in the Environmental Education field. Most notably, I have gained a greater appreciation for environmental interpretation and how it is possible to really engage and inspire a wide variety of audiences. By and large, my favorite classes in my time at Tech were Dendrology (learning everything there is to know about local trees), Environmental Interpretation, and my Environmental Education Service Learning class.
2) What experiences will you bring to this internship as you help with nature camp and support our programs?
As I mentioned above, my Environmental Education Service Learning class was one of my favorite experiences, as I was able to become directly involved in the education process. We spent ten weeks working with 4th and 5th graders at a local elementary school in Blacksburg. Our main goal when working with these students was to hopefully inspire positive behavior when it came to environmental stewardship. However, while this was the “main goal,” our greatest effort went into making sure that all of our students were having a great time while still learning at the same time. We developed activities that built upon prior knowledge as well as introducing new concepts. Essentially, we hoped to inspire a greater appreciation for the environment while making sure everyone had as much fun as possible.
3) Why are you excited for this internship?
I am incredibly excited to be working with the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy as it finally provides me with the opportunity to help protect and preserve the local environment that I grew up with. I have lived in Loudoun County all my life (excluding my few years at Tech, of course) and in the past few years I have become increasingly worried with the seemingly uncontrolled development present in our county. I want future generations to be able to enjoy the beauty and diversity that my little section of the state has provided since I was young. I feel there is no better way to do that than by getting involved with the organization responsible for just such a philosophy. The idea of restoring the natural habitats of the creatures we displace on a regular basis is something I am eager to do, and I feel it is something that I could truly help share with younger generations. Also, the summer camp aspect of the internship would help me garner a greater appreciation for younger students. This experience will hopefully provide a better understanding of how to work with kids when I eventually become a teacher in the environmental education field.