Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Summer Interns have Arrived!

The mornings are bustling with activity and the Fleet Farm Tub-o-Cheeseballs has returned. Two sure signs that field season and interns have arrived! 

We have five seasonal interns who have started up this month. Three of them were with us in past years, and two are here for the first time. Hear from three of them here as they write about what brought them here (or back).


Matt Brust, Water Quality Intern, Returns

I'm happy to be back working with the wonderful staff at the Watershed. This summer I hope to expand on my knowledge and skills I gained during the 2015 season as the Water Quality Intern. I found myself enjoying this type of work more and more as last summer went on.

Since my first day back, I have been able to be out in the field doing a variety of work. Recently I’ve been able to help with tasks that are new to me, like controlled burns at golf courses in the District and lake chloride sampling.

I obtained my degree from Vermilion Community College in Natural Resource Technology Forestry and Wildlife in 2014. Before I started working here, I volunteered for two years as an apprentice with Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa. My first apprentice location was Anoka Conservation District where I worked with water resources. The second season I was the apprentice at Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District where I worked with Urban and Agricultural BMP’s. Recently, I have been working as a Zamboni Driver for the Forest Lake School District.

In my time not dedicated to working, I enjoy traveling to new places for camping adventures, riding dirt bikes and motorcycles, fishing on the St. Croix River and enjoying the outdoors with friends and family.

Thanks staff, for having me back. I am looking forward to yet another great experience this summer.  



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Introducing Joey Handtmann, District Inspector Intern

I am thrilled to be working with the great people here at RWMWD and to be making a real difference in our community. During my time at the University of Minnesota, I achieved my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Since then, I have worked with both public and private organizations to effectively manage natural resources, mainly in urban settings. Additionally, I have been a part of the Al’s Breakfast crew for about five years, serving up omelets and waffles and developing an interest in sustainable, locally grown food.

Outside of work, I spend a third of the year curling at the St. Paul Curling Club’s winter league, seeing bands at First Ave. and enjoying all of the new taprooms popping up over the Twin Cities.


Being able to put my skills as an environmental scientist to serve the public is a tremendous source of pride for me. I’m looking forward to working closely with my new team and residents within the district!



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Welcome Back to Carrie Taylor, Natural Resources Intern

Carrie Taylor helping with a controlled burn
I'm happy to be back for a second season to work with the Natural Resources team.

Highlights over the winter included skiing with my family - when there was enough snow to ski on. My three-year-old daughter gleefully got on skis for the first time and skied alongside us, making her own tracks in the snow. My seven-year-old daughter was braver and zoomed down the steep icy hills on her cross country skis.

I especially enjoyed the blue bird winter days when the sky was clear blue, the sun was shining and the snow sparkled like diamonds. On one of the coldest weekends of the winter I skied at Jay Cook State Park. It was absolutely quiet in the winter dormancy. The only sound was the creak of trees as I skied on a ridge line with only wild natural land surrounding me and the St. Louis River in sight.

Now that spring has sprung and I'm back working with the District, there is a flurry of activity. The birds, frogs and toads are singing, leaves are bursting and plants are emerging, all giving color to the land. Some of those colors are from pesky weeds. We have already begun scouting out and removing weeds on sites. Also, we have recently completed several controlled burns, leaving behind black patches of land. But, it won’t be long and they will be bursting with native prairie plants.

Every day is like an adventure keeping up with what is needed in the District. This "field" season I look forward to working to restore the west side of Keller Creek, maintaining many of the other sites and observing the changes in the District as the seasons change.


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Our two additional interns will be featured in a future Ripple Effect post.

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