Our Environmental Projects Interns have done some amazing work this season!

The Alliance’s Environmental Projects Interns from Bowie State University (BSU) have just finished up their time with us and left a lasting impression. We’ve been thrilled to be working with students and faculty at BSU since 2020 to host educational, service, and professional opportunities on campus, engage with environmental advocates like the Green Ambassadors, and join forces with students on exciting projects like Fatima’s and Jordan’s.

Fatima Jawla: Solar Street Lights on the BSU Campus

A person preparing a water sample from a bucket.

Fatima Jawla collecting a water sample at Horsepen Branch Park during the interns’ monthly sample collection.

Fatima’s capstone project was to conduct research and develop a proposal for a sustainability project that could be implemented on BSU’s campus. She chose to pursue the placement of solar streetlights around campus. Through her research, Fatima was able to show how important it is to opt for renewable sources of energy to provide a sustainable, cost-effective way to light up the campus. She developed a proposal for a solar street light initiative that would encourage BSU to be more proactive in reducing energy consumption and help meet the campus’ sustainability goals of reduced carbon emissions and a renewable energy percentage of 35% or more.

“My favorite part of my time as an Environmental Projects Intern was going on site visits, because I got to learn so much more about the field. I enjoyed being outside in nature, and our monthly water quality monitoring, where we got to learn more about each other.” – Fatima Jawla

Now, Fatima is looking forward to finishing strong, completing the rest of her projects for this semester, and graduating. Although she is uncertain about what is next after graduation, she decided to take a gap year before grad school and find a job in the field to leverage and gain more experience while exploring options.

Jordan Oliver: Dissolved Oxygen Research

A person adding a testing chemical to a water sample next to a stream

Jordan Oliver collecting a water sample which will be processed back in the lab to calculate Dissolved Oxygen (DO) concentrations.

For his capstone project, Jordan gathered dissolved oxygen data from a few different landscapes using the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative’s online database of water quality and benthic macroinvertebrate data, Chesapeake Data Explorer. He compared levels across different land uses, to build a deeper understanding of how land management impacts water quality and better inform future decision-making of water monitors, data scientists, and public officials across the region. Jordan is grateful that this experience has heightened his research and analysis skills.

“My favorite element of the internship was getting familiar with the environmental science field. I enjoyed the water quality monitoring we did and being out in the field. It felt good to be able to apply what I do in school to a real job.” – Jordan Oliver

Just like Fatima, Jordan is looking forward to a strong finish for this semester and is already gearing up for his next summer internship, which will take him to Kenya to conduct research on water quality and food security! He is excited to apply what he learned during his time with the Alliance, like manually testing for pH, dissolved oxygen, and water turbidity, to this next opportunity.

Thank you, Fatima and Jordan, for all your hard work this season. We look forward to following your future endeavors! A special thank you to Bowie State University for a strong, ongoing partnership that will continue to make a positive impact on our Chesapeake communities.