Undergradute Student Education
Undergraduate Student Education: A Key Component
For over 50 years, experiential learning has been the foundation of a Paul Smith's College education. Faculty waste no time in getting students out the door and into nearby forests, lakes, and streams of the Adirondacks, where they learn how to assess environmental and ecological problems and effectively manage natural resources. In the College's on-campus environmental labs, students are able to analyze data they have collected in the field and draw conclusions from their findings.
The AWI benefits immeasurably form Paul Smith's College's faculty expertise and resources. Just as importantly, the AWI benefits the College by providing high-quality, research and training opportunities for Paul Smith's College students. Every summer a small number of highly motivated students from the College are selected as AWI interns and lake and mountain stewards. They receive professional, "hands-on" training in water resource activities including regional water quality studies, watershed management planning, and educational outreach programming. The invaluable experience gained allows students to better determine the area of study they wish to pursue, something that students at many institutions do not fully realize until after graduation.
An important educational goal of the Adirondack Watershed Institute is to facilitate a network of motivated, talented interns and externs. Students enrolled in two- and four-year programs at Paul Smith's benefit both from additional opportunities for internships provided under this three-program structure as well as from involvement with scholarly activities. Interns also benefit by interacting with their peers--a community of student-scholars-who--are involved in similar or related activities. Through the Adirondack Watershed Institute, seniors at Paul Smith's College have the opportunity to create capstone projects, interdisciplinary, collaborative research projects, much like these--that would further the AWI's studies, outreach, and ultimately its mission.
Student Capstone Research Projects:
- J.D. Lambrinos, Contribution of seeps to discharge of a headwater stream
- Andrew Mishler, Calcium weathering with organic acids across a gradient of parent materials
- Sara Kessler, Calcium fractions across a gradient of parent materials
- Jacob Gnann, Diver productivity and effectiveness with removing Eurasian watermilfoil
- Pat Goodall, Risks of upland development to water quality in the tri lakes area
- Rylan Lyman, Variation in foliar nutrient concentrations in white pine
- Derek Franklin, Modeling storm water runoff in the Lake Colby watershed
- Jordana Bronson, Effects of road salt on soil chemical properties
- Casey Stokes, Shoreline development and emergent aquatic plants
"The Watershed Stewardship Program sets an example on all levels. That is to say it teaches important conservation ethics to individuals, groups and communities while providing invaluable opportunities for students to multi-task in scientific research and public interpretation preparing them to be future natural science professionals."
Jason Bried, Paul Smith's College Class of 2001, Assistant Director of the Watershed Stewardship Program summer 2001. Currently, Conservation Intern working for the National Park Service at Congaree Swamp National Monument, South Carolina in the Resource Management Division.