Posts Tagged ‘intern’

Interns Help with Stream Assessment and Monitoring

Posted on: July 18th, 2018 by Brent Gotsch

There’s a lot of work being done this sum­mer at AWSMP and we use all the help we can get! Thank­ful­ly, we have an arrange­ment with SUNY Ulster and the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion to hire interns to help with field work and oth­er essen­tial tasks. This year we are proud to have both Justin Alec­ca and Kait­lyn Per­rone as our sum­mer interns.

Justin and Kait­lyn help mon­i­tor com­plet­ed stream projects. This includes sur­vey­ing the chan­nel and sam­pling stream sed­i­ment. They use sur­vey equip­ment and Glob­al Posi­tion­ing Sys­tem (GPS) devices to record mea­sure­ments of the stream. These tasks are repeat­ed every few years and after floods to track changes and deter­mine if a com­plet­ed stream project is suc­cess­ful in its goal to sta­bi­lize the stream. 

One type of chan­nel sur­vey, called a cross sec­tion, mea­sures how deep the stream bed is at a par­tic­u­lar point. Sed­i­ment sam­pling involves mea­sur­ing the size of dif­fer­ent sed­i­ment par­ti­cles to deter­mine what size par­ti­cles the stream is mov­ing. Steep­er more pow­er­ful streams tend to move larg­er, heav­ier sed­i­ment par­ti­cles. Lon­gi­tu­di­nal pro­files char­ac­ter­ize the aver­age stream slope and depth of rif­fles, pools, runs and glides and is used to delin­eate stream types. Dras­tic changes such as increased build-up of sed­i­ment (also known as aggra­da­tion) or severe deep­en­ing of the stream bed (also known as degra­da­tion) can be evi­dence of insta­bil­i­ty that indi­cates a need for stream work. 

AWSMP Summer Interns Justin Alecca (left) and Kaitlyn Perrone (middle) help AWSMP Watershed Technician Tiffany Runge (right) run a cross section along the Stony Clove Creek.

AWSMP sum­mer interns Justin Alec­ca (left) and Kait­lyn Per­rone (mid­dle) help SWCD Water­shed Tech­ni­cian Tiffany Runge (right) run a cross-sec­tion along the Stony Clove Creek.


There are sev­en stream restora­tion projects that will be sur­veyed this year. After chan­nel sur­vey are com­plet­ed, this busy team will move on to veg­e­ta­tion mon­i­tor­ing at numer­ous ripar­i­an buffer plant­i­ng sites. They will wrap up the sum­mer field sea­son with stream assess­ments in Lost Clove and Hatch­ery Hol­low near Oliverea.

Justin is a stu­dent at SUNY Ulster who recent­ly became a crim­i­nal jus­tice major. He learned about the intern­ship oppor­tu­ni­ty through his biol­o­gy teacher. His favorite part of the intern­ship is being able to gain field expe­ri­ence while learn­ing about streams. He has one more year at SUNY Ulster and would ulti­mate­ly like to become a game war­den in either Maine or Colorado.

Kait­lyn is a recent grad­u­ate of SUNY Ulster who majored in ecol­o­gy. She learned about the intern­ship through her advis­er. Her favorite part of the intern­ship is being out­doors and walk­ing through the stream, since you can learn so much by being immersed in it. She plans to take a semes­ter off and then trans­fer to a 4‑year col­lege to com­plete her bach­e­lor’s degree in either ecol­o­gy or biology.

We thank both Justin and Kait­lyn for all their hard work this sum­mer and wish them the very best with their future plans and careers!