Ecosystem Science Field Experience Lab (ESFEL) Student Field Technicians Dig into Local Environmental Projects
The Ecosystem Science Field Experience Lab (ESFEL) connects course-work with real-world projects through internship opportunities for current students and program graduates. Through hands-on experience, interns will be prepared for a seasonal entry-level position with non-profit, private and governmental organizations.
This year’s group of ESFEL Student Field Technicians are working on a variety of environmental projects alongside local non-profit organizations and environmental consultants.
Soil Science and Garden Design
Caitlin McCarthy is a 2021 graduate from Colorado Mountain College Leadville’s Natural Resource Management and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programs. During her time at CMC she was chosen to participate in the Rocky Mountain Land Management (RMLM) internship program which pairs a STEM-heavy course load with two summer’s worth of work with the United States Forest Service.
Caitlin will finish up her work with the U.S. Forest Service this summer working as a soil science technician for White River National Forest. Additionally, the recent graduate will work for Colorado Mountain College as an ESFEL Student Field Technician, helping the Cloud City Conservation Center. Caitlin’s focus is to restore the health of the soil on their farm while designing and landscaping a garden around their geodesic greenhouse dome that focuses on native, pollinator-friendly, and edible plants.
ESFEL Student Field Technicians Ethan Moyer and Max Torrens will be spending part of their summer at a fen restoration site at Hayden Ranch. Fens are peat-forming wetlands that rely on groundwater input and require thousands of years to develop. Once destroyed or damaged, fens cannot easily be restored. Fen conservation is critical, as they are often home to rare plants, insects and small mammals.
Ethan and Max will be training with Brad Johnson from Johnson Environmental Consulting to learn about redox monitoring techniques. Measuring the redox conditions of groundwater can help determine whether it contains elevated levels of contaminants.
Ethan Moyer and Max Torrens are both recent Colorado Mountain College Leadville graduates. Ethan completed a degree in Natural Resource Management in spring 2021 and Max earned an Environmental Science degree in spring 2021.