By Miles King, Nidina Sapkota, Alexis Ballman, & Sharon Gibbons
Editor’s Note: Our newest Ebb and Flow assistant, Sharon Gibbons, sat down with our three high school interns to learn about what they have been doing throughout their time with The Watershed Project and where they’d like to go from here. We love having these three talented and intelligent individuals work with us every Friday!
Meet Nidina, Alexis and Miles, three students from Albany High School who are interns at The Watershed Project through the Environmental Design Society English and Technology (EDSET) Academy. This special program brings an environmental focus to core classes the interns take in their junior and senior years. The program allows the students to take part in research and to participate in projects related to their internships.
Working with The Watershed Project, the interns have been involved in several ongoing projects working a full day each week. Along the Richmond Greenway, the interns have helped with digging and spreading mulch as The Watershed Project develops rain gardens and bioswales to transform neglected urban spaces and prevent flooding from upcoming El Niño storms. The interns have also worked to establish, maintain and monitor oyster habitats along the Richmond Bay coastline. They have also participated in the Coastal Clean-up at the Albany Bulb running The Watershed Project registration booth and assisting the public. Another project was educating the public through the interactive diorama of a watershed at the North Richmond Shoreline Festival in Point Pinole. The interns have helped with community outreach and have presented in the local schools helping to develop a program about trash and the watershed. For Earth Day, Nadina helped the children at Ocean View Elementary School build juice box monsters as part of a trash awareness project.
Nidina, Alexis and Miles describe the internship as an important combination of hands-on experience and learning about the watershed and bay ecosystems. They have appreciated seeing how community outreach works and meeting different community organizations that contribute around the bay. Alexis is interested in restoration ecology and plans on continuing her environmental focus by working for the National Park Service, doing restoration ecology or pursuing marine biology. Miles is interested in developing policy and seeing how the legislative system can affect endangered habitats and ecosystems. Nidina is interested in business and the work environment. The interns have appreciated working with The Watershed Project as a way to give back to the environment and to help foster community efforts to help solve environmental problems.