Each year the Water Center supports a Virginia Tech student (second-semester sophomore or above) for a semester-long, paid internship. The Water Center envisions the internship as an opportunity for a student to experience learning and work activities that will enhance the student’s knowledge about, and skills useful for, a variety of possible water-related careers. In offering the internship, the Water Center seeks to further its Virginia General Assembly-mandated functions, which include to “disseminate new information and facilitate transfer and application of new technology; …[and] encourage the development of academic programs in water resources management….”
The intern will work approximately 10 hours per week throughout the spring semester at a variety of tasks. Opportunities could include time at the Water Center offices in Cheatham Hall on the Virginia Tech campus, in water-related labs, or at field sites.
Specific intern tasks will be based on the opportunities currently available at the Water Center or elsewhere, in conjunction with specific learning objectives identified collaboratively by the intern and the intern supervisor. Activities will be coordinated by the intern supervisor, but will include experiences with staff, faculty, and graduate students affiliated with the Water Center.
If you have questions about this program, please contact Associate Director Kevin McGuire.
Hallie Tucker was a Virginia Water Center intern in 2022. During her internship, she worked on interviews with Sheri Shannon of Southside ReLeaf and Dr. Nick Copeland. She graduated with a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Geographic Information Systems. She is passionate about water resource conservation, environmental justice, and using art to advocate for the earth. She is currently pursuing a career combining water conservation, public outreach and environmental justice.
Mark Wheeler completed his semester-long internship in 2022. Mark’s internship included conducting fieldwork with graduate students and a ‘Did You Know’ article on water use. Mark is a Water: Resources, Policy, and Management major with a minor is Geographic Information Science. Mark hopes to pursue a career in solving water-related issues.
Aaron Price completed his internship in 2021. Aaron is majoring in Crop and Soil Environmental Science, and working towards the Blue Planet minor. His interests lie in the relationship between agriculture, soils, and water quality. His internship focused on understand the science of riparian buffers and ways to provide that information to land managers.
Abby Spotswood completed her internship with the Water Center in the summer of 2021. Her internship work featured an in-depth look at environmental justice issues. Included in her work are an interview podcast with Dr. Mike Ellerbrock, an interview podcast with Dr. Shannon Bell, and a report on environmental justice. Abby is an Environmental Resource Management major. She has a strong passion for environmental stewardship, protection, and conservation. She is pursuing a career in environmental consulting.
Ross Cooper completed his internship in 2020. For his internship, Ross completed an in-depth examination of the relationship between Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and socioeconomic factors in the James River watershed. Read his complete project HERE. As he finished his internship, Ross completed his B.S. degree in Water: Resources, Policy, and Management and is currently working as a water policy analyst fellow at an Advanced Wastewater Treatment plant.
Nizhoni Tallas competed her internship with the Water Center in 2020. Nizhoni’s internship project explored water issues facing tribal communities in Virginia (read her project HERE). Nizhoni is a proud member of the Diné tribe and is studying Natural Resources and Conservation and minoring in American Indian Studies. She plans to attend graduate school to focus on Indigenous Natural Resources and climate adaptation.
Lily Michaud completed her semester-long internship with the Water Center in May 2019. Lily graduated from Virginia Tech with her B.S. degree in Water: Resources, Policy, and Management from Virginia Tech’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. As part of her internship, Lily attended the annual NIWR meeting, visited Capitol Hill, worked on a Virginia Water Radio episode about storm drain murals, interviewed Water Center faculty and staff, assisted a graduate student’s field work in Bland County, and completed a self-guided research paper titled “A Look at Water Management Policies in Texas.” To find out more about her work at the Water Center, read her Internship Reflection.
Saalehah Habeebah completed her internship at the Virginia Water Center in May 2018. Saalehah graduated from Virginia Tech in December 2018, with a double major in Water: Resources, Policy, and Management and International Studies. During her internship, Saalehah produced a public information piece for Water Radio about water quality and assessment (Water-quality Monitoring from a Trio of Perspectives). She also visited the Virginia General Assembly, the NIWR Annual Meeting, the 15th Annual Virginia Tech Laboratory Exposition, and the Water is Life Conference. In addition, Saalehah began working with Erin Ling, Senior Water Quality Extension Associate in the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering, to publish “What you need to know about PFOS and PFOA” through the VA extension program.
In 2017, Eryn Turney, of Daleville, VA, completed her internship with the Water Center. Eryn graduated May 12, 2017, with a B.S. degree in Natural Resources Conservation from Virginia Tech’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. To complete her Water Center internship, Eryn wrote “Where is the Water at Virginia Tech?”, a report on her explorations of water-related programs at the university; click here to access that article. In her internship, Eryn also completed a small-scale study on specific conductance and mosquito larvae, assisted in stream surveying and discharge gaging, and learned how to key aquatic macroinvertebrates.
In the spring 2016 semester, Taylor Richmond served as the first student intern for the Water Center. In May 2016, she graduated with a B.S. degree in Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. Some highlights of her time as the Water Center include attending the NIWR Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.; a visit to the Virginia General Assembly; working on a research project concerning the impacts of coal mining on stream biology; and writing an article for the News Grouper blog. See “A Student Intern’s Discoveries” in the August 2016 Virginia Water Central Newsletter for a complete write-up of Taylor’s experiences at the Water Center.