These NC State Students Are Improving On-Campus Sustainability
Six students from the College of Natural Resources have been selected as members of the 2022-23 cohort for the NC State Sustainability Office’s Campus as a Classroom internship program.
The Campus as a Classroom program aims to advance sustainability at NC State, while also providing hands-on learning opportunities to help students develop professional skills for careers after graduation.
Students participating in the program will work on a variety of projects, ranging from collecting and analyzing data for the campus greenhouse gas emissions inventory and sustainability map to developing a campus tree inventory app for the campus community.
We recently spoke with a few of these students to learn more about their projects and how the College of Natural Resources has helped prepare them for their internships. Check out their stories below.
Sarah Jacobs, a senior studying environmental technology and management in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, will be collecting and analyzing data for the campus greenhouse gas emissions inventory and sustainability map.
“Sorting the travel data for the university’s greenhouse gas inventory and drafting a GIS story map have allowed me to observe campus-wide initiatives that address the logistics of environmental issues in Raleigh,” Jacobs said. “As a future consultant, I will be faced with finding solutions to these issues in a variety of other projects so I am grateful for the ability to learn from NC State from a different perspective.”
Melzer Morgan, a senior studying sustainable materials and technology in the Department of Forest Biomaterials, will be supporting ongoing — and developing — future waste diversion programs.
“This includes researching potential strategies and developing a plan to implement them,” Morgan said. “Our main areas of focus are the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Natural Resources. I will also be learning more about sustainability and how it is incorporated at NC State.”
Christina Conrad, a senior studying environmental sciences in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, will be studying the microbial composition of compost in order to optimize the process at the campus compost facility.
“This will involve working in the lab, and visiting the university compost center to conduct research,” Conrad said. “After gathering data, I will work to share the information with the academic community and the general public.”
Jared Spurlin, a senior studying fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, will be designing and implementing a small space design to preserve the breeding habitat of a large colony of native, ground-nesting bees.
“This internship offers me directly that, the opportunity to study and protect one of NC State’s very own native inhabitants,” Spurlin said. “Since we are designing this study from scratch, I could transfer what I learn about habitat control and study design with these bees to other insects or non-insect species. This internship is helping to kickstart my scientific ecological career and grants me the opportunity to truly make a difference.”
Nicole Rosales-Garcia, a sophomore studying environmental sciences in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, will develop a tree inventory app for the campus community.
“In this internship, I will ultimately create a campus tree trail that is user-friendly for tourists and students,” Rosales-Garcia said. “Most days, I am using the already-existing campus tree trail map to locate trees and examine their tree health, making sure their tags are intact and evaluating their location to place them in their appropriate trail.”