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Local Students Excel at Spring Internship

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Article by: Jen Young, NGRREC/L&C Marketing and PR, jenryoung@lc.edu

EAST ALTON – Betsy Papin and Jacob Futrell are two local college students currently interning with the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRRECsm).

Betsy Papin is currently studying criminal justice at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. She previously attended Lewis and Clark Community College, where she studied criminal justice.

Papin is working with Danelle Haake, NGRREC’s RiverWatch director and stream ecologist to test local water samples to monitor fecal bacteria found in the Prairie Du Pont watershed. Heartlands Conservancy is a partner organization on this project.

“Living locally, I have seen work done by NGRREC and I’ve always had great respect for their work,” Papin said. “I felt this would be a great fit for me because not only do I learn about the local ecosystem and work on projects, I am able to apply those lessons into teaching the community the findings of the internship.”

Jacob Futrell is attending Lewis and Clark Community College for his Associate in Engineering Sciences (AES). He plans to pursue an environmental engineering degree after graduation.

Futrell is working with Justin Shew, NGRREC’s conservation project manager, to test the use of acoustic monitors in detecting Eastern Whip-poor-wills by sound at two local sites in Southwestern Illinois. The goal of this project is to determine their habitat use, leading to a better understanding of this species’ needs and guiding land management policy.

“This internship is an opportunity to work in a field I enjoy and work towards my future career goals,” Futrell said. “I hope to gain experience in the field and learn real life applications for my field of study.”

Futrell will be continuing his internship experience with NGRREC this summer.

For more information on NGRREC internships visit http://www.ngrrec.org/Internship/ or contact Sarah Fisher, Director of Environmental Education at (618) 468-2783 or saafisher@lc.edu .

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC ℠ )

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and their associated communities.