Recent Graduate Spotlight: Hunter Ardrey

Major: Environmental  Science (ES)
Specialization: Ecological Restoration
Graduated: May 2015

Post Graduation Experience: Internship with MAD Scientist Associates
When: April – November 2015
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In May of 2015 I graduated from the School of Environment and Natural Resources with a B.S. in Environmental Science, specializing in Ecosystem Restoration. And since late April of 2015, I have had the great opportunity of interning at MAD Scientist Associates (MAD), an ecological and wetland consultant company located in Westerville, OH. Where MAD works with individuals to alter or mitigate wetland areas within the laws and regulations already in place and tries to provide ecological assistance throughout Ohio and surrounding states. It is my first “summer job” that is actually directly related to what I went to school for. Before interning at MAD, work had just been about getting money for college; and a big incentive for volunteering in restoration work was for free pizza and cookies. But with my internship at MAD, I can honestly say that I am now gaining the necessary experience to pursue a career in environmental science.

My first task as a seasonal intern was to collect and analyze water samples for a wetland restoration site located in Westerville’s Highlands Park. I and two other interns would start off the week by visiting a beautiful wetland full of a diverse vegetation and wildlife, and collected samples at each of the inflow and outflows. We would then analyze the samples for such things as Phosphate, Nitrate, turbidity, pH, temperature, and conductivity in order to help determine if the restored wetland was actually improving water quality.

Yet this has just been a small part of my internship. There are the fun and exhaustive field days of wetland delineations and determinations, floristic inventories, invasive removal, herbicide application, and extensive woody and plug plantings. There are other days where it is more about engaging with individuals and communities, focusing on environmental education and helping with many volunteer events. While there are also the days where I am in front of a computer all day imputing data or gaining experience with QGIS and ArcMap.

All in all, I am very thankful for my amazing experience at MAD. Everyone at MAD has been great to work with and have been always willing to share their knowledge with me. Knowledge that has already helped career wise as the internship has improved my plant identification enough to now collect seed for a native plant nursery. I highly recommend interning at MAD; or at least to take the wetland ecology course
offered at OSU, which is taught by the founder of MAD, Mark A. Dilley.

Learn more about ENR 5250 Wetland Ecology and Restoration.

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