New internship opportunities arise through agreement with national parks services

Kara Taylor

Last month, Provost Todd Diacon signed an agreement regarding the collaboration of the National Park Service and Kent State that will create new internships for students. The theme of this agreement is “The River We Share,” because the Cuyahoga River flows through Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Kent.

Sandra Morgan, outreach program director for the College of Arts and Sciences, said she is very excited about the opportunities this agreement is bringing for students.

“I am excited about the collaboration,” Morgan said. “Internships for communication, arts and sciences, and business majors will be available.”

Students preparing for these careers will be introduced to several programs that can prepare them for jobs in the NPS, Environmental Protection Agency and rising fields such as studying the effects of fracking.

Students will be able to apply for the internships in the spring and will be notified of positions by May. There will also be another meeting in May at Kent State with NPS leadership to work on various projects. This collaboration will provide hands-on experience and service-learning opportunities for students and professors.

“There are many different opportunities for students and classes activities in parks such as field trips surrounded by natural habitats,” said Chris Blackwood, associate professor of Biological Sciences and director of the Center for Ecology and Natural Resource Sustainability.

The NPS already provides programs such as the Alternative Spring Break, and students help with park activities and learn about the park.

“The goal of this agreement is to increase the convenience of the opportunities,” Blackwood said. “We want to make sure we take full advantage of our surrounding opportunities and resources.”

Students majoring in science and environment who take advantage of these internships will have greater opportunities to practice their craft and gain ample experience before graduation.

Kent State environmental majors and professors will loan their intelligence and research while gaining new information. Cuyahoga Valley National Parks will benefit from the research, which will result in keeping the park healthy and beautiful. This 5-year agreement allows both parties to revisit and revise the agreement at the end of the period.

Contact Kara Taylor at [email protected].