Catherine Unger (she/her/hers) spent January 2021 working as an intern with the Water Quality Monitoring Team at the Alliance. 

Catherine initially developed an appreciation for the outdoors as she grew up exploring the James River Park System in Richmond, Virginia. Since then, she has always known that she has a strong desire to contribute to meaningful environmental change. Catherine is currently a senior at Randolph-Macon College, where she is pursuing a B.S. degree with a double major in Biology and Environmental Studies. She enjoys being involved on campus and is a member of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, Chi Beta Phi National Scientific Honorary, and Leadership Fellows Program. She also had the opportunity to spend last semester carrying out an independent research project that used camera traps to investigate wildlife activity. In her free time, Catherine can be found going on outdoor excursions to hike, swim, bird watch, and observe frogs and salamanders.

During her time with the Alliance, Catherine learned how to use water quality monitoring equipment to help out with virtual training sessions for new RiverTrends volunteers. She also created a GIS Story Map for the Rockbridge Monitoring Group that showcased the trends in water quality data at five of their sampling sites. Catherine finished up her internship by collaborating with the Environmental Education Team to design a GIS Story Map that will serve as a learning resource for the Richmond Public School system. This project utilized data from the Huguenot Flatwater Park and will encourage students to assess trends in data, make predictions for the future, and engage with the environment. Catherine had a great experience working with the Alliance this past January, and she is excited to use the skills that she learned to continue pursuing her passion for conservation!