By Jacob Rude
Abigail Longstreth’s senior internship is at Portage Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Ravenna, where she is able to make connections with government officials and gain experience with environmental science. The Portage SWCD is an independent division of the Ohio Department of Agriculture that provides support for issues including soils, streams, wetlands, drainage, ponds, wildlife, plants, and forests. While her work changes day-to-day, she says she enjoys the change of pace and is grateful for all of the life skills and knowledge she is gaining.
“I get to go outside a lot. I go on site visits with them, we drop off rain barrels; that’s one of the projects that I helped organize,” said Longstreth.
She is interested in helping areas that are lacking in water resources: “I have a specific passion to go and help people in developing countries get water because that’s a really big problem,” said Longstreth.
She is currently starting a project to quantify plastic waste at Bio-Med, where she is trying to find out how much plastic is recycled in proportion to how much is thrown away at the school, and hopes to expand it to other schools as well.
“I feel like I’ve been able to make a lot of change already just through all of the stuff I’ve been doing and I’ve been given the opportunity to further what I want to do,” Longstreth said.
Longstreth recommends that any students interested in environmental science try and get an internship at the Portage Soil and Water Conservation District: “It’s only been two months and I’ve already had so much valuable experience. They’ve been really, really accommodating with helping me accomplish my SMART goals that I set out. They’re making my goals a priority, and it’s awesome.” Longstreth is hoping to major in environmental science, but is currently undecided on a college.
To learn more about the Portage Soil and Water Conservation District, visit portageswcd.org.