Each summer, EarthWays Center welcomes interns that are dedicated to gaining experience in the field of sustainability. We are excited to welcome three interns to the EarthWays team this summer. Read on to learn more about our interns and their experiences so far.
Cheyenne Griffin – Sustainability Education Intern
Cheyenne is a graduate student in the Horticultural Sciences Department at Texas A&M University(TAMU) pursuing a Master's of Agriculture. She is graduating in December of 2021. Before she graduates, she is completing an internship through the Missouri Botanical Garden and completing her research project. Her project focuses on surveying the student population at TAMU on their perception of the Botanic Garden that was opened on campus in 2018. She hopes to evaluate the value of creating green spaces, as well as assess how students' well-being has been affected by the creation of the campus gardens. Cheyenne is interested in working in education programs through green spaces such as botanic gardens, national and local parks, forests, and preserves, and hopes to start her career as an educator in the agriculture or environmental sector this year. Having a positive impact on her community through agriculture, environmental science, and sustainability education is a passion for Cheyenne.
While interning with the youth programs at Missouri Botanical Garden, Cheyenne has worked with the EarthWays Education team, the Outdoor Youth Corps program, and the EcoAct Program. Cheyenne has worked on developing educational eBooks from sustainability-focused children's books. Her completed, "Compost Stew" was offered during the 2021 virtual Green Living Festival for families to enjoy. She has also helped the Sustainability team prepare a professional development for teachers on the topic of sustainability education, and has been working on the development of an interpretive guide for rainwater management that emphasizes rainscaping as a beautiful way to accomplish rainwater management at home. While working with the EcoAct program, Cheyenne has led one of the "Outdoor Appreciation Week" days, she hosted an educational Kahoot about the National Park System, she helped the students familiarize themselves with field identification books, and she facilitated a bio blitz with the use of iNaturalist where the students identified a multitude of species in Forest Park. Additionally, she has helped facilitate the work and professional development of amazing young and developing professionals in St. Louis with the Outdoor Youth Corps. One of Cheyenne's favorite things about her internship has been interacting with and educating youth in St. Louis. She is enjoying her time at the Garden and is excited for the projects and personal connections to come.
Mary Masterson – Energy Efficiency and Sunflower+ Project Intern
They say that for millennials pets are becoming the new children, and plants are becoming the new pets- this description fits me. I care for a thriving courtyard garden of “plant pets”, and the number of “plant pets” inside my home rivals that of the outside. I’ve inherited my green thumb from my mother.
I love living in Soulard with my husband Sam and our dog-child, Rocky. When we’re not at the Frenchtown dog park, we’re probably at ITap or the Farmer’s Market. My husband and I try to live our best zero-waste life; composting, recycling, TerraCycling, and buying eco-friendly products and food that doesn’t come packaged in plastic.
Recently my professional career and environmental values did not co-exist. In fact, they were opposite. I found myself in an unfulfilling career and I was collecting the office recyclables because they would not recycle despite my best efforts. So I’m starting my career over and putting my energy towards my passion for sustainability.
The EarthWays Center has wonderful connections to like-minded, eco-friendly folks. The staff at EWC care deeply about the health of our planet and the climate crisis. Their well of environmental information runs deep and is diverse. They provide different avenues for working a green collar job that can fit different passions.
During my internship I have been working with Richard Reilly at the Sunflower+ site and EWC Energy Efficiency Programs. The Sunflower+ site is inspiring to anyone who lives in St. Louis. I have learned so much history about St. Louis and the Old North neighborhood, and about pocket parks and the impact sites like the Sunflower+ site have on the Earth and the community.
I have learned about energy efficiency outreach partnerships with Liberty and Ameren. I’ve attended virtual meetings with EWC partners including the St. Louis Healthy Homes and Energy Efficiency Coalition, OneSTL, and the U.S. Green Building Council. I have researched potential grants and financial partners. I promoted the Green Living Festival and joined in the virtual events. I am sincerely grateful for all the resources and opportunities this internship has provided so far.
Jenna Murdock - Energy Efficiency and Sunflower+ Project Intern
My name is Jenna Murdock, and I am an EarthWays intern for summer 2021! I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio but I am currently attending school at Washington University in St. Louis. In Cincinnati I live on a farm which really spurred my love for the environment. At Washington University I took my interest in the environment and chose to study Environmental Engineering with a minor in Energy. I just completed my sophomore year, and I am incredibly excited for what the next two years hold. Outside of taking classes, I am a member of the cross-country team and track team, I participate in Engineers Without Borders, and I volunteer at a local food pantry. Running, volunteering, and sustainable practices have always been my biggest passions. Engineers Without Borders only runs during the academic year so I was looking for some way to fill my sustainability void over the summer. The EarthWays Center was the perfect opportunity to dive deeper into my understanding of green living!
At the EarthWays Center I am working with Richard Reilly on the Sunflower+ Project and seeking funding opportunities for OneTouch St. Louis. I have greatly enjoyed my time on the Sunflower+ Project thus far. This project is a great opportunity to see the real impact of sustainable work in the community. From the couple hours a week we spend cutting grass and weeding I have come to love the community in Old North. Recently I also accompanied Richard to Preston Community Garden opening in East St. Louis. It was such a neat experience to see people from all over the area come together to build a garden for future generations. The EarthWays Center and Richard have helped me solidify that this line of work aligns with the impact I hope to have in my community.
Thanks to our 2021 summer interns for sharing their experiences thus far. To learn more about the Garden's internship opportunities click here.