Summer Internship Program: Northern District (Prince William Area) - Natural Resources


Primary Program Area Focus:  NR

1. Describe your plans for this internship.  (i.e. What specifically will the intern be doing?)

Background: The LEAF (Link to Educational About Forestry) Extension program, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and the National Park Service (NPS), continues to grow. The public access and close proximity of the Conway Robinson State Forest (managed by VDOF and the Manassas National Battlefield (managed by NPS) provide a unique LEAF site for both dynamic and static educational tools reaching new audiences with forestry and natural resources information. Last year’s internship efforts enhanced the educational curricula and tools for use in reaching various audiences and developed a new technology based outreach tool.

This year’s intern will focus on conducting additional field-work to show-case
educational programs. They will also refine basic delivery tools and create new. This
will facilitate better use of both field-sites for coordinated extension & outreach programs as well as tools to reach casual visitors to the Manassas National Battlefield and the Conway Robinson State Forest through static educational tools. The delivery of these tools will take place under the leadership of the District Natural Resources Agent with partner support.

  • An upper-classman natural resources intern will support the Northern District Natural Resource Extension program by assisting with the following educational efforts
    • A full-day educational program utilizing both properties to teach Landowners various forest & wildlife management techniques.
    • A half-day program to train Extension Volunteers and the general public in the region on basic forest & wildlife ecology subjects.
    • Static interpretive tools such as signs, printed brochures and YouTube Videos to convey key information pieces and showcase the partnership.
    • Miscellaneous educational offerings (variety of focus and variety of ages) for use with groups requesting brief tours.
  • The intern will also conduct field-work on the respective properties in support of the outreach focus. These tasks may include:
    • Forest & field resource inventory and analysis work (this data will be used in development of educational material).
    • A review, compilation and integration of the natural & cultural history of the area.
    • Invasive plant identification, mapping and control.
  • He/she will also assist with the design, coordination and delivery of various local extension programs as possible by working with various extension agents.

2. Describe the knowledge / skills you expect the intern to gain from this experience.

The Extension Intern will gain leadership, organizational and educational program design & delivery skills as they are involved with needs assessment, program development, delivery and evaluation. This will happen primarily in the context of program delivery of a field-based outreach program based on the public properties of Manassas National Battlefield and Conway Robinson State Forest and program partnerships of VCE, VDOF and NPS.

They will also gain practical communications skills, natural resource quantification
proficiency and working with others from different backgrounds.

3. How will the intern learn about the breadth of VCE and our various program areas?

The intern will assist with other ANR and 4-H programs by working through local VCE offices (Prince William and Fauquier) to create opportunities for increased intern
exposure. I will also orient the intern to the VCE system throughout the summer as we work together.