Intern Amber helps with pond study

Amber’s Adventures: The story of a summer internship

By AMBER LOPATINE
Intern, UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County

Hi! I’m Amber, and I recently completed my summer internship experience with Sarasota County. Keep reading to learn about my summer adventures in Sustainability and Natural Resources.

Hi! I'm Amber

Hi! I’m Amber

I have always had a passion for environmental science and educating others about the world around us. As a new Florida State University graduate, I wanted to follow a career path that would allow me to use my skills and passions to make a positive impact on the community. But, I was unsure where to begin. When I discovered an internship with the UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County office, I knew it was the perfect place to start.

During my internship, I worked on projects revolving around sustainability and natural resources. For the natural resources part of my internship, I worked on a variety of assignments involving environmental education for people of all ages.

FMNP Uplands class learning about the importance of prescribed fire in upland ecosystems at Oscar Scherer State Park

In the first weeks of my internship, I assisted with the Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) Uplands class. FMNP is an adult education program developed by the University of Florida to promote awareness, understanding, and respect of Florida’s natural world among Florida’s citizens and visitors. This was one of my favorite parts of my internship. I learned an incredible amount about the unique Florida uplands ecosystem. Learn more about the Florida Master Naturalist Program here: http://www.masternaturalist.ifas.ufl.edu/

Additionally, a large part of my internship was spent helping plan and deliver environmental summer camps for children. I was able to apply my new knowledge. So much behind-the-scenes work goes into developing educational programs, but all the work was worth it. I got to see the kids have fun while learning and engaging in the activities.

I loved getting to interact with students of all ages during these programs, and seeing that a passion for learning and environmental stewardship transcends age.

Intern Amber assists summer camp students with freshwater invertebrate identification

UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County provides opportunities for youth development, leadership, and environmental education through collaboration with Sarasota County parks department summer camps, a 4-H environmental summer camp, LIFE: Learning in Florida’s Environment (which is offered to grade 4 and 5 students in Sarasota County, in partnership with Florida State Parks), and so much more!

Check out more of Amber’s summer adventure in our next blog!

 

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