Jennifer Pitner - Education Department

Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL

As an Education intern my primary job was to sit out on the docks and enjoy the scenery of the Rhode River while I sip cool water and work on my tan…Well that’s what most people around SERC probably think the Education interns do. Actually there is a lot that goes on in the Education department from our usual school groups to special summer groups that come and participate in our programs. One thing is for sure, almost everyone the visits with us always say; “You guys have a lot of fun!” And while what I do is fun, I also do a lot of work. When groups are come to SERC, I have found myself working with Blue crabs at the About Crabs station of Estuary Chesapeake program, where I help teach kids all about Blue crab anatomy and how to catch those beautiful swimmers that are tasty.  I also have talked to groups at the Oyster Bar station and on  many occasions have modeled our wonderful waders as well as helped groups identify fish  that they caught in the seine net at the Going Fishing station. I have taken groups out canoeing on Muddy Creek and the Rhode River as well

  My main project summer  found me at my computer planning the first SERC summer camp “Discovering Watershed Connections of the Chesapeake”. While the program didn’t run due to a number of factors, I have laid a foundation for it to run in the summer of 2003..While doing all that, I got to help a fellow intern out and became the audio director on the two best movies of summer 2002 “Saxatilis” and “The True Story of Mo” which can been seen  at the Reed Center.

My summer commenced with our Creatures, Creeks and Canopies  program which brought anywhere from 100-200 K-3 graders kper day for 5 days to SERC. Along with the rest of the education staff, I helped plan and run sections of the program to give inner city children a chance to experience nature first hand. I would definitely say it  as been a busy summer at the Reed Education Center.

My experience at SERC has influenced me to work with environmental education.  I’m planning to graduate from Eastern Illinois University in the spring of 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology and go onto Graduate school and get my Master’s in Coastal Zone Studies and eventually earn my Ph.D. I definitely want to work in an educational capacity whether it is in an environment like the Reed Education Center or for a museum or aquarium. I love being able to share my knowledge with others and to help others get excited about the environment as I am. A visit to the education docks or to the seining beach and you’ll see the excitement, hard work and fun of what being an education intern is all about. Just don’t forget your water bottle and sunscreen!

Back to 2002 Interns