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Siegel Salmon Restoration Internship 2015: Garrett Linck, Part 3

Doug navigates his way under a downed tree while collecting salmon habitat data. Using CHaMP (Columbia Habitat Monitoring Protocol), we measured the length, width at 1/3rd, width at 2/3rds, and maximum depth, while distinguishing each stretch of the stream as either a riffle, scour pool, or non-turb.

Garret Linck is working on habitat conservation and restoration in the California wilderness as the Paul Siegel Salmon Restoration intern. For his final blog installation, he is sharing a series of photos from his experience. 

Fort Bragg annually hosts “The World’s Largest Salmon Barbecue” as an effort to raise funds and awareness for Salmon Habitat Restoration in the area. While CHaMP was developed in the Pacific Northwest, conservation organizations have been actively working to extend efforts to Northern California to collect data and restore ideal stream conditions, especially in the aftermath of recent droughts. More information here: http://www.salmonrestoration.com/world_largest_b_3.html.

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Connecting with Minority Youth in the Greater Chicagoland Area, McGill Lawrence, Rosa Leal

McGill Lawrence Internship Award recipient Rosa Leal, '18, interned with the Choices Youth Outreach organization, implementing youth programs in low-income neighborhoods in Chicago.

Coming back home this summer has been a truly eye-opening experience. These last few months have been some of the most rewarding and hectic times. I was originally intended to intern with the Chicago Freedom School (CFS); however CFS contacted me two weeks into the summer apologizing that they could no longer offer a position. At first, I panicked! Then I realized I could work with an organization that I had contacted earlier in the grant process. After a week of delegation, I went on to intern with Choices Youth Outreach (CYO), a nonprofit located in the greater Chicagoland area (right in my hometown of Kankakee). Despite however stressful, my path with CYO has turned out to be a truly invaluable experience!

One of my goals this summer was to gain knowledge of the sociological issues facing the area. I wanted to work with an organization that addresses the aftermath of the Chicago Housing Crisis. A devastating policy failure that culminated in the displacement of some 181,000 residents of mostly black neighborhoods in West and Southside Chicago. As a result, concentrated poverty levels were exacerbated and started filtering into nearby towns. Wealth and jobs concentrated into newly-formed mostly white neighborhoods as a result of redistricting and complete neglect by local/federal government. In fact, I didn’t realize the severity of the situation until I was actually back home: boarded-up houses, failing schools, defunded social programs, over-policing, increased gang-affiliation, and violence every day.

Presidents Summer Fellowship, Supernatural Shakespearian Webseries Part 2, Liz Groombridge

Watch Act I Scene I .

President’s Summer Fellow Elizabeth Groombridge ’16, psychology/theater major, is writing and creating a queer, supernatural webseries, “The Green’s Apartment”, based on Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It.

Bumps Along the Road

We wrapped filming on August 8th in Chicago. It was an amazing experience with so many wonderful people. The whole cast was great and did so well with their parts. It was a stressful experience, filming, because I blocked out 4 hours to film each episode, and for some episodes that was more than enough and for some it was a little short. I learned so much about directing film over the course of this project, because I've never done anything on this scale before. The more episodes I shot, the better my shot compositions became, and the more I understood how to make things dynamic on camera. 

But I think what really helped me learn more about how to direct film was editing it. Choosing to edit during the process was a really good decision, I think, because by watching my footage so carefully and piecing together the narrative from different angles, I began to really understand what looked good and what looked awkward or flat. This has been an amazing learning experience for me. 

Presidents Summer Fellowship 2015: Haley Tilt, Visual Memory and Livy, Part 2

Haley Tilt, '16, Classics, is adventuring in Rome, tracing and chronicling the geography described by the ancient historian Livy. She plans to create a virtual, interactive map of ancient Rome, based on Livy's depictions. 

My last weeks in Rome were glorious. Finally comfortable with the city, I decided it was time to venture out into the other, more remote places Livy discusses. One of these places was the town of Veio, forty minutes North of Rome by car, two or more hours by bus.

On the rolling hills above Veio sleep the remains of Veii, the jewel of ancient Etruscan cities. Now a national park, Veii offers little to a casual tourist group. Once immense, the only area of the city now accessible to visitors is a reconstruction of a temple complex dedicated to Apollo. It’s beautiful, but not what I’m looking for. I’m searching for the cittadella, the citadel of Veii, and the seat of the symbolic power Veii held for Livy. The maps I’m accustomed to in US parks never manifest, so I’m left asking the few locals walking their dogs if they know what I’m looking for. No, they tell me, they don’t know where the cittadella is. Finally I find a woman sitting beside a waterfall, and when I ask her my question, she responds to me in perfect English, peppered with a funny combination of Italian and British sounds. Yes, she knows where it is, and she gives me detailed directions, which I will later botch completely, wandering through the hidden parts of the park. She even knows a version of Veii’s defeat by Rome, decidedly different from the version in Livy.

Citizenship and Legalization in Immigrant Communities: Portland based Immigration Advocacy, McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Francisca Garfia

This summer, McGill Lawrence Internship Award recipient Francisca Garfia, '17, Anthropology, worked with the portland-based immigrant rights organization CAUSA. Read ahead for her impressions:

As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, the struggle for legalization in the immigrant community has been central to my upbringing; I knew entire families who feared the separation of deportation, I had friends who were unable to attend college due to their legal status. This familiarity with the human side of illegal immigration led me to Causa, Oregon’s leading immigrant rights advocacy group. Causa services the Pacific Northwest immigrant community by educating them on their rights and opportunities for legalization. One way they do this is through community workshops; Causa provides access to legal forms and low cost attorneys since the legalization process is complicated and costly. The majority of my summer internship centered on a workshop, which not only served as a way to support the local immigrant community, but also pledged our solidarity to immigrant communities nationwide.

When I began planning this internship, President Obama had recently announced the expansion of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). Immigrants across the nation were abuzz with the news; if enacted, millions of undocumented immigrants would be legalized! However, the celebration was short lived as Texas and other states filed a lawsuit that prevented the implementation of the programs. As a result, immigrant advocacy groups that had hoped to help people become “DACAmented,” now had to focus their efforts on convincing the fifth circuit court that DACA was vital to these communities, and that these individuals were Americans despite their lack of documentation. 

Frankfurt Consulate Public Affairs Internship, McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Nicole Thompson

Nicole Thompson ’16, political science-ICPS major, received the McGill Lawrence Summer Internship Award to work in Geneva as a member of the Frankfurt consulate's Public Affairs team.

It is comically difficult to summarize the events of this summer into a short and legible blog post. Perhaps that is the best way to summarize this adventure.

When I accepted the McGill-Lawrence award, my plan was to work for the US Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany. Two weeks before my departure I was notified that issues with my security clearance meant this was a no-go. Three days later, thanks to the grace of some higher power and the inhuman prowess of our own Brooke Hunter, I had secured a position in Geneva with the WHO. The next morning I received an email congratulating me on my approved security clearance and welcoming me to the Frankfurt consulate's Public Affairs team.

Presidents Summer Fellowship, Nanofluids and Gene Mapping Part 2, Abrar Abidi

For his President's Summer Fellowship, Abrar Abidi ’16, physics major is working in a lab at McGill University in Canada, helping to develop new nanofluid technology to improve DNA mapping methods. Read on for his second blog installment:

On so many warm summer evenings here, red and white flares shoot up on the horizon, hissing as they go, before exploding with a deafening pop, forming a lavish spectacle in the Montreal sky. Often as I sit in my little Victorian-era apartment, sudden bangs and crackles send me rushing out to the roof of my building, so I can look toward the harbor, where on an otherwise forlorn stretch of land, six thousand rockets now fire heavenward in a single night. Yearly, the largest firework festival in the world—a kind of pyrotechnic Olympics—takes place in Montreal throughout the month of July. Groups from countries across the world, with their eyes set on prestigious awards, collect in this city to show off their talents in front of three million people. This year, England won the gold medal, while France took home silver and China, bronze. All this amid a procession of other festivities celebrating jazz and African cultures and circus arts and film and comedy. On the few nights not occupied by these events (and we’re still talking only of July), there are huge live music shows, free to the public, many taking place a two-minute walk from my front door.

The lab is a far quieter and colder place. With vents constantly blowing dry, chilly air on every floor of the building, I’ve taken to swaddling myself in at least three layers. Fortunately, the work I do expunges all my guilt for staying indoors. The opportunity to participate in this lab’s experimental efforts is what lured me to McGill in the first place, and in the previous month, my project has taken on a more experimental flavor. Sara, a good friend and researcher with whom I’ve been working closely since June, gave me the task of analyzing thousands of fluorescence microscopy images, zoomed in so close that a fraction of the width of a single human hair could easily eclipse the viewfinder. Fluorescence microscopy is a remarkable technique, where special dyes are used to stain the object of interest, causing it, when illuminated by a powerful lamp, to cast a vivid, luminous glow, no less dazzling to the eyes than the firework displays I can sometimes see from the lab window. Our microscopes are trained on minuscule nano-devices that Sara very cleverly designed and fabricated. Below the glass cover slip, and within these tiny devices, anywhere from a few dozen to several hundred strands of DNA can be seen drifting here and there, tossed about by Brownian motion, flashing like fireflies in the night. Then, with the flip of a switch, the strands rush toward the centers of a series of equidistant spaces, where they accumulate and extend, resembling a phalanx poised for battle. A dial that controls the frequency of a current sent through the device can manipulate their movement, alternately dispersing and concentrating the DNA. The potential applications for this invention are dizzyingly exciting: nothing less than the technology future generations might use to map entire genomes, at speeds and with accuracies far beyond anything currently possible.

Siegel Salmon Restoration Internship 2015: Garrett Linck, Part 2

Garret Linck is working on habitat conservation and restoration in the California wilderness as the Paul Siegel Salmon Restoration intern.

It’s hard to believe that I only have two and a half weeks left working for the Mendocino Land Trust. I’m nearly finished with one of the largest projects I’ve been working on this summer: a management plan for the Noyo River Redwoods Property. In my last post I mentioned the salmonid habitat surveys I was conducting in the Noyo River with Doug. This property lies along that same river, but further inland in eastern Mendocino county—near the city of Willits. The 426-acre property was purchased for $7.5 million in 2011 by Save the Redwoods League (a non-profit organization that protects and restores coastal Redwood forests), before being sold to the Mendocino Land Trust in 2012. 

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Presidents Summer Fellowship, Connecting to Armenian Artists Part 2, Knar Hovakimyan

Working on the ground in Armenia, President’s Summer Fellow Knar Hovakimyan ’16, linguistics major, seeks to introduce Armenian literature to English-speaking communities through poetry translation.

I just finished unpacking back home in LA. When I opened my suitcase, I was greeted by the faint smell of khorovats (Armenian barbecue) in my clothes: the pants that I wore to harvest apricots at my uncle's, the sweater I wore to Lake Sevan on a stormy day. I removed the large number of books I had managed to fit in my suitcase: I remembered discussions with poets at different cafes, afternoons I spent scouring through several volumes to pick which poems I wanted to translate, the look of the books scattered across our apartment all month. My sunscreen spilled all over everything; I had completely neglected to use it on our sightseeing side-trip to Khor Virap, Noravank, Tatev and Karahunj. My purse was crushed way at the bottom of the suitcase, water-stained from the day strangers poured three buckets of water on my head in celebration of Vardavar.

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Summer School at McCoy Academy, McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Kelli Collins

Kelli Collins '15, McGill Lawrence Internship Award recipient, is teaching summer school to econmically disadvantaged youth through the Portland-based nonprofit Oregon Outreach.

Teaching at McCoy Academy has been fun, challenging, rewarding, and eye opening. I went into this experience hoping to learn how to effectively educate youth who come from difficult, often at-risk backgrounds. I've realized that many of the teachers who devote themselves to this demographic spend decades asking themselves these same questions and learning more every day about the teaching methods that are most and least effective. 

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We Love Clean Rivers Environmental Stewardship Internship: McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Joshua Tsang

Recipient of the McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Joshua Tsang '18, is combating water pollution through water quality monitoring of rivers around Portland with the nonprofit organization We Love Clean Rivers.

Hands-on and Hands-off River Scrubbing:

Youth Organizations Umbrella, McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Olivia Kilgore

Recipient of the McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Olivia Kilgore '16, is teaching cultural connections and slam poetry to classes to Middle School Youth in Evanston, Illinois. 

Youth Organizations Umbrella is a youth development non-profit organization that serves youth in Evanston, a suburb of Chicago.  This summer, I have the privilege of facilitating classes for an eight-week summer program to middle school students in Evanston.  As a staff member of Y.O.U., I promote positive youth development. The strategy encompasses the idea that empowering youth through supporting their voices and ideas enables them to resist negative factors and be successful in all areas of their lives. 

The summer program incorporates seven main elements: life skills (civic leadership & cultural connections, health & nutrition, healthy relationships & sexual health), electives (arts/drama/lit, sports & fitness, STEM), structured play & team building activities, field trips, supportive adult relationships, family engagement and mental health counseling/crisis intervention.

Reedies Win Grants for Peace and Understanding

Nine Reed students have won grants to pursue summer projects to promote peace and strengthen understanding.

From participation with Mercy Corps to work with the Chicago Freedom school, to outreach work with the Consulate General in Frankfurt, read about these students amazing projects on the Reed magazine "sallyportal" blog:

http://www.reed.edu/reed_magazine/sallyportal/posts/2015/davis-mcgill-summer-2015.html

Research: Pictures Big and Small, President's Summer Fellowship Final Reflection, John Young

There is something deeply rewarding about setting up a plan and then executing it. Thought the “heist” metaphor was perhaps a stretch, and though I would never want to implicate myself or my colleagues in “theft” (--though, my brief walk through the British Museum suggested to me that historians, archeologists, and anthropologists have perhaps done their fare share of that, under different names--), finding what I was looking for where I looked for it was a satisfying experience.

What was I looking for? And what did I find? I was looking for the correspondence of Robert Swinhoe relating to Natural History. His “day job” as it were was as a diplomat in the British Foreign Service, and he produced volumes of material related to his work in the consulate. I wasn’t incredibly interested in all of that work, however, and I wasn’t sure what, if anything, I would find in his diplomatic writings with respect to his natural historical work. I did manage to locate all of his archived diplomatic writing. The day after arriving in London I went to the National Archives and spent the morning and afternoon browsing microfilmed catalogues of Foreign Service Office material, looking for things that Swinhoe produced. I spent the whole of Saturday and Sunday at the National Archives—it was the only one open over the weekend.

I had planned to do the archival work here over my first weekend because, although of lesser importance to my overall research interests, it would give me the opportunity to “practice” doing the work of a historical researcher.

Economics in Cape Town: McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Sarah Brauner

Sarah Brauner, junior economics/mathematics major, received a McGill Lawrence Internship award to spend her summer in Cape Town, South Africa working at the Economic Policy Research Institute.

This summer has been a story of disparate images and experiences, and as I sit down to write this post, its hard not to be daunted by the task of stringing them together into a cohesive narrative. In fact, the more I reflect, the more it seems that the thread holding all that I wish to convey together is a series of sharp contrasts that I have borne witness to, participated in, and attempted—with mixed success—to process.

The backdrop for all this—Cape Town, South Africa—is in some ways one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Table Mountain, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is visible from almost every vantage point in the metropolitan area, and beaches (apparently the setting for Shark Week) surround the city. Eucalyptus and palm trees, British-colonial architecture, striking panoramas and even Baboons, abound.

The Birth of a New Life: Davis Project for Peace, Emmanuel Enemchukwu

Emmanuel Enemchukwu, junior economics major, was a recipient of the Davis Project for Peace award. The following post contains his experiences implementing his project in Nigeria at the Federal Government Academy. 

About half a year now separates me from the time I spent at the Federal Government Academy (FGA) Suleja Nigeria. At FGA Suleja, I executed the Davis project for peace with my colleague, Zhe Li. FGA Suleja, Nigeria, was my alma mater, and its contribution to my moral and intellectual development leaves me forever indebted to it. As such, it was with great zeal that I embarked on the project hoping to contribute the most possible in the small but relevant opportunity that I had been afforded.

The Federal Government Academy Suleja is located in one of the most southern regions of Northern Nigeria. Suleja with its beautiful hills is a town in harmony with itself and its surroundings, but this harmony seems fragile in the face of the current ethno-social turmoil perpetrated by Boko-Haram in North-Eastern Nigeria, a region of close proximity. Once in a while, the scourge of the much-reviled Boko-Haram breaks out of its enclosure in North Eastern Nigeria and into the area of Suleja. But beyond this fear of conflict, we saw peace and prosperity in a school that boasts of some of Nigeria’s smartest young minds.  We define peace, with regards to the secondary school students, as the existence of social innovation and an infrastructural platform for students to optimize their academic growth potentials in a violence-free environment.

The Smiles of the Children: Marshal Academy Internship in Pakistan, McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Ahyan Panjwani

During the scorching summer of 2014, I worked with Mashal Academy, an alternate school for underprivileged children in Neelum Colony, a squatter settlement in Karachi, Pakistan. The initiative is primarily run by high school students from The Lyceum; they spend afternoons and early evenings with primary school level children from the area helping them with Math, English, Urdu (the national language) and basic sciences which are part of the Department of Education endorsed curriculum. Mashal was based in a single room, rented by the high school students where they used to help around 15 children with these subjects.

However, because of the superior quality and consistency of education that the students offered, there was a surge in the number of children wanting to attend Mashal. In light of this, I worked with the students to lease a new space which is much bigger and accommodates 34 children and the activities that the mentors plan for them. The new place has two rooms and a huge veranda allowing the students to be divided into two groups depending on their prior academic learning. Over the summer, we also created lesson plans for new subjects including Music, Arts, Drama and Physical Education while also allotting an hour every week for reading time. Given the pedagogical methods in the schools usually available to the children, these new additions are phenomenal – almost unheard of. We also laid ground for two other programs at Mashal: monthly medical check-ups for the children by a qualified pediatrician and a daily lunch program. Both of these are aimed at incentivizing parents to send their children to school while also providing quality services in area where infrastructure for health and hygiene is almost negligible.

Most importantly, we put in place a sustainable donor model for Mashal over the summer. Since the school was housed in smaller premises earlier, the rent was not a very big issue. However, the new house and the expanded services being offered mean that the operating costs have risen substantially. I guided the students towards finding and approaching donors who would pledge to chip in with the costs on a monthly basis for an entire year before renewing their commitments.

Causa: Protecting Immigrant Rights, McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Cristobal Mancillas

Cristobal (3rd from left) working a summer internship with Causa

I spent my summer traveling around Oregon while working for Causa, the largest network of Latinos in the Pacific Northwest. In this capacity I was given a great degree of independence and charged with a variety of tasks, from administrative tasks such as statistical analysis and the incorporation of the Voter Activation Network as a hub for directing volunteer and campaign management to activism in the form of voter registration, civil rights organizing, and immigration legal services. My primary work was to advocate for Measure 88 on the upcoming ballot, also known as the Safe Roads Act. This measure would reduce barriers to accessing insurance and grant thousands of people the opportunity to apply for a driver card regardless of citizenship status. I found this experience to be a meaningful supplement to my Reed education, so I have worked to establish a federal work study contract with Causa and Reed College.

Working with Causa has changed the way I think about politics, identity, and everyday experiences as well as the way these three facets of life interact with each other. I realized, as I talked to people on the streets, in supermarkets, Jaripeos, concerts and churches, that people of color face numerous obstacles that could (and should) be addressed by legislation. This led me to reflect on the role of politics as well as my own privilege. My coworkers were a huge inspiration to me because of their sense of purpose and commitment.  I saw people overcoming language barriers, and driving long distances after a full day of work in order to help shape the world they lived in. They weren’t just raising signs, they were raising voices. I came out of this experience wiser, more skeptical (only a little bit jaded) and more conscious of my own identity. My internship continues to impact me in the new ways as my academics endogenously fuel my passion for social justice.  

A Long Overdue Reflection, McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Sunny Yang

The author, Sunny Yang, holding a microphone and being the MC for the closing ceremony of the summer pre-service training.

Me being the MC for the closing ceremony of the summer pre-service training.

The past two months have been a whirlwind of events, feelings, and encounters. Quite different from my original imagining of this summer internship, yet equally as fantastic, or even more so.

Originally, the plan was to spend half of my time doing a field research project in rural regions in Taiwan for the organization Teach for Taiwan, and the other half of the time would be spent assisting the organization in finding mentors for Teach for Taiwan's pilot cohort teachers. Well, plans don't always work out, especially independent internship projects like this.

The playground of an elementary school in Taitung

Off Quad Rule: Part 9

Rooibos

After a week of writing up a precise yet thorough protocol, I am getting to unwind after all the unpacking and driving. It took a few showers and a haircut to really feel like I got that signature ‘wet-lab’ film off, but I am finally back at home grazing and keeping cool.

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