UW- Oshkosh Environmental Research and Innovation Center

Internship Location: Door County WI

Organization Type: Local Government

Policy Areas: Environmental Health

Over the summer, I interned as Environmental Research Intern for UW- Oshkosh Environmental Research and Innovation Center, and various organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency and Wisconsin DNR supported my position. Five other interns and I collected and analyzed water quality data throughout Door County (E. Coli levels, microplastics, blue-green algae) to ensure the beaches were safe to swim at. If the beaches tested for high levels of E. Coli, our team had to collaborate with Door County Public Health and Parks and post informational signs at the beaches for the public to see. Much of my responsibilities involved sharing information with the public about what I was sampling for and where they could find information about water quality. My internship highlighted the importance of solid communication across departments and between my team and county staff to ensure we shared the most updated, accurate information. As a dual degree student (MPA-MPH), my internship required me to combine my knowledge of public health and public policy, which allowed me to apply skills from my dual degree coursework. Overall, this internship gave me the opportunity to learn how the field of environmental health was created out of public policy decisions to protect the public.