Hope Miller is a CALS Forest Resources and Conservation (FRC) senior and the summer intern for Southern Fire Exchange (SFE), a regional organization that helps facilitate and disseminate scientific information on wildfires and prescribed fires. The audience ranges from environmental educators to land managers that have worked with their land for 30 years.
Miller found out about this position by asking her research mentor, Dr. Crandall, if she knew of any summer internships and she happened to have this opportunity available!
What is your role as an intern?
This experience hasn’t been the typical shred paper and retrieve coffee internship! So far, I have provided support on a multi-state grant proposal, drafted a needs assessment tool for an in-service training, created a social media series highlighting undergraduates in prescribed fire across the South, and some other little projects. SFE has allowed me all kinds of experience, from administrative to creative.
Has the pandemic had an influence on your internship?
My internship is very self-paced and computer-based, so the pandemic didn’t have as much of an effect on me. However, I was supposed to travel to in-person trainings, conferences, and meetings that were either canceled, postponed, or moved online.
What led you to your major in CALS?
I was originally a pre-nursing major but Hurricane Irma hit Gainesville half-way through my first semester and destroyed my favorite tree on campus. When I cried over that tree, I realized how connected I was to the natural world and that I wanted to pursue a career in natural resources. FRC seemed the best fit.
How has CALS prepared you for this internship?
My experiences with CALS Leadership Institute, in particular, have been very influential in this internship. I understand what kind of team member I am, what conditions I work best under, what I need in terms of communication from others, and more. Knowing these qualities about myself made it much easier to integrate myself into the team that was already established.
What advice would you give someone with similar interests just starting college?
Make connections! Go to club meetings, volunteer in a research lab, talk to your professors. The more people you interact with, the more chance you have at finding really cool and beneficial opportunities.
Providing students with a solid understanding of ecology, the Forest Resources and Conservation major prepares students to manage and develop forest areas for economic, recreational, and ecological purposes. Students study natural resource management and analysis, soil and water sciences, plant identification, law and policy, fire management, and natural resource economics. Find a CALS major that suits your interests by taking our majors quiz. You can also find information regarding our undergraduate and graduate programs on our website.
*All pictures courtesy of Hope Miller.