This summer, I had the opportunity to be a full-time Watershed Coordinator for seven weeks at ALLARM. I was so excited to be able to do this since I had not been able to physically work in the ALLARM office, as a result of COVID, since the beginning of 2020, which was right after I started. Collaborating with the ALLARM team full-time gave me the space to learn more about parts of the organization I was unfamiliar with and to grow my skills as a Watershed Coordinator.
Throughout the summer, I was able to build upon my existing ALLARM experience but also expand my organizational engagement through new projects in different program areas at ALLARM that I had previously never worked in. When I first started working at ALLARM, I was nervous to even step foot in the lab because it was so out of my comfort zone. However, by the end of the summer, I was comfortably running lab tests for our LeTort monitoring analysis and volunteer quality control checks! I was also able to complete a webinar on the Clean Water Act which I created after researching federal and Pennsylvania-specific water policies. I learned so much about water policy through this research.
One of my favorite memories from the summer was teaching a summer camp group about water quality with our other summer Watershed Coordinator, Kyra Lerner ‘23. We created a lesson plan and then taught a group of about twenty kids all about physical, chemical, and biological factors of water quality! It was a lot of fun to see the interest that the kids had in working with different testing processes, and they all had a great time examining the macroinvertebrates that we had collected for them. Projects like these were a great opportunity to get to work with other staff at ALLARM, and I appreciate the chances I had to get to know everybody else working this summer a lot better!
I left my summer position feeling far more confident in my abilities at ALLARM and spent the last month of my summer looking forward to returning to work during the fall semester! After having a few chances to interact with volunteers throughout the summer, I decided to focus my next project around learning more about our volunteers and the work that they do, and I am so excited to learn more about them!