Summer 2020

Meet Lindsey Kollmer: Connecticut River Estuary Aquatic Invasive Plant Steward Intern

Photo by: Dorothy R. Hart (www.ahartseyephotography.zenfolio.com

Hello! My name is Lindsey Kollmer and I am honored and excited to be the Connecticut River Estuary Aquatic Invasive Plant Steward Intern for the summer of 2020. I am a rising Junior at UConn currently pursuing a double major of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Molecular & Cellular Biology. I am a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society at UConn and enjoy crocheting comfort objects for babies in the NICU as a part of the Knit for NICU club.

As part of my internship this summer I am focusing on protecting the lower CT River from two aquatic invasive species in the CT River Estuary: Water Chestnut and Hydrilla. I am working to raise public awareness about these plants and how destructive they can be to the local ecology, public enjoyment, and economy of the river. After just a short time learning about these plants, I am alarmed at the destruction they bring (and their potential for a lot more!). This ignited even more motivation in me to help inform people about the simple ways they can prevent the spread of aquatic invasives to protect our valuable resources and favorite outdoor places.

To enrich my internship experience, I am volunteering with the Friends of Whalebone Cove to “paddle and pull” or hand-pull Water Chestnut from local coves off the river. It is so rewarding to see the difference in a location before and after pulling Water Chestnut. (Catch me on the UConn Extension Instagram at a Water Chestnut pulling event!)

I am so lucky to be making a difference so close to home and to be working with such knowledgeable mentors from CT Sea Grant, Judy Preston, and Nancy Balcom. Every day I am learning something new and cannot wait to continue my internship journey!

Meet Ryan Morais: Vegetable Entomology Intern

Ryan MoraisI am a Senior undergrad environmental engineering major and ecology and evolutionary biology minor with a passion for entomology. This summer I will be working as a vegetable entomology intern through UConn’s Extension Internship Program. I work closely with Professor Legrand to develop an informational entomology website and outreach educational materials. Other than web development,  I am creating informational and fun content for Bug Week, developing a social media presence for the IPM entomology lab, as well as collecting and rearing various insects. Through this internship, I am excited to continue learning about entomology and the various aspects of integrated pest management.     

Meet Will Carta: CLEAR Intern

Will CartaMy name is Will Carta and I am interning with CLEAR through UConn CAHNR Extension. I am going to be a senior at UConn and I am majoring in Natural Resources with a concentration in Water Resources and Climate. Before transferring to UConn I spent two and a half years at Manchester Community College. I love fitness, fishing, and playing basketball with friends whenever I get the chance. I am currently working on updating CLEAR’s “State of Low Impact Development in Connecticut“ story map. Many of the links to various regulations throughout this story map are out of date, which I am in the process of updating. I have found that many of the towns that did not have a specific document for their Stormwater Management Plan when the story map was first created, now have one. This is great to see because it shows that more and more towns in Connecticut are acknowledging the importance of Stormwater Management as well as Low Impact Development and putting out regulations to deal with it. Along with the LID Story map, I will also be working on updating UConn’s Virtual Green Stormwater Infrastructure Campus Tour. This virtual tour highlights the University’s leadership role in addressing the impacts of stormwater runoff on water quality.

Learn more about the State of Low Impact Development in Connecticut at http://s.uconn.edu/stateoflid and the Virtual Green Stormwater Infrastructure Campus Tour at http://s.uconn.edu/gsitour

Meet Megan Davenport: Hartford County 4-H Intern

Meg DavenportHi everyone! My name is Megan Davenport and I am Hartford County’s 4-H Intern this summer! I am currently a junior at UConn in Storrs, CT and am double majoring in Animal Science (ANSC) and Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) and minoring in Agriculture Outreach and Learning. At UConn, I am heavily involved in the Dairy Club and the Block and Bridle Livestock Club and enjoy introducing UConn students and community members to the agricultural operations on campus. Before UConn, I was a proud 4-H member for 8 years where I showed dairy cattle for my project and I also served as a State FFA Officer among other leadership roles through my extensive involvement with FFA. Through all of my time in FFA, 4-H and my extensive experience in the dairy industry, I realized my true calling lies in the education and communication of agricultural operations and programs. I am excited to educate youth about agriscience and to inspire them to pursue their passions and make a positive impact in their community.
Due to COVID-19 and the virtual transition of 4-H programs, I will be finding creative ways to connect, engage with and educate 4-H members about the world of 4-H and agriculture online. This summer I will be focusing on social media engagement with 4-H youth and community members as well as creating educational videos for UConn 4-H members to utilize on topics such as but not limited to… animal restraint, dairy fitting and topline clipping, dairy judging, milking procedures, giving oral reasons, leadership skills, resume building and professional networking. Tune in on our various social media accounts (@uconnhartfordcounty4h) for our “Fun Fact Fridays” and “Mindful Mondays” and be sure to check out these educational videos on the UConn Extension YouTube channel!

Meet Sara Tomis: New London County 4- H Intern

Greetings! My name is Sara Tomis and I am working as an intern for the New London County 4-H Office. I am majoring in Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) at the University of Connecticut, and I intend to pursue a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education upon the completion of my undergraduate degree. I aspire to combine my passion for animal science and horticulture with my passion for outreach to develop a successful career in agricultural education.

I am involved in FFA as a member of the CT State Association Executive Committee, and I currently serve as a board member on the New London County Agricultural Extension Council. In addition to my internship in the New London County 4-H office, I work as a social media specialist in UConn CAHNR Extension and assist in UConn social media outreach for the National Healthy Homes Partnership. This past spring, I had the pleasure of drafting and speaking in an #AskUConnExtension video detailing healthy hygiene when interacting with animals. This opportunity enabled me to expand on my writing skills, content delivery skills, and impact while spreading a message that is close to my heart.

This summer, I am assisting in the delivery and preparation of our virtual 4-H Summer Library Program. I am working to tie agricultural concepts into our program content to increase agricultural awareness in New London County youth. Additionally, I am assisting in the facilitation of the UConn 4-H Ozobot Club, which brings 4-Hers together from across our state to learn about robotics and technology. I am also working to prepare our New London County Virtual Exhibition which will take the place of our traditional fair and highlight proficiency, knowledge, and growth in New London County 4-Hers. I am excited to be working to produce accessible education and growth opportunities for youth in my community!

UVM 4-H Summer Online Programs

boy with iPad

4-H staff in Vermont are offering programs on a variety of topics where youth can meet new friends and try new activities.

CLOVERBUDS CONNECT CHALLENGE

Cloverbud Connects Challenges are issued each Friday and are geared toward youth in grades K-2 (Flyer, PDF). Cloverbuds watch a video that demonstrates an activity and then we challenge you to do the same! Try that activity and record yourself in action and share it back! We’re using a password protected system called Flipgrid, only open to those who want in! So don’t delay! The first challenge is out and the second one is lined up and ready to go! Check out this video to learn more! If you’re interested in participating, email kimberly.griffin@uvm.edu to sign up and get an access code! 

POTIONS, SPELLS, & MAGICAL KINGDOMS CAMP

July 20, 21, 22, 23, 10:00am-11:00am, Afternoon check in from 3:30pm-4:30pm

Step into the world of the mystical from your own home as we learn about creating magic out of the ordinary. Send invisible messages, build an imaginary realm, and wave wands with fellow wizards. Daily adventures, games, and challenges await! For ages 8-13.

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Allison Smith at 802-651-8343 or 800-571-0668 by June 26, 2020 so we may assist you.

Registration Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/potions_spells

ANIMAL SCOOPS

July 8 (dairy), 15 (Pets), 22 (Horses), 29 (Goats), August 5 (Poultry) from 9:00-10:00am

Join us for 4 interactive and enjoyable animal topic sessions. Included activities: Trivia, videos and recipes. Join us to share what you know and learn something new. Appropriate for ages 8-18. Check out this flyer to learn more!

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Wendy Sorrell by June 24, 2020, so we may assist you.

Pre-registration is required. Just click on the following link by the Tuesday, before each session and the link to join the Zoom meeting will be emailed to you. 

GARDENING: EATING WHAT WE GROW

July 7th, July 21st, August 4th, August 18th from 10:00-11:00am

Join these fun interactive sessions to explore what plants eat, how to grow and harvest them, soil science, sunshine, recipes, and more! Appropriate for ages 8-18.

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Liz Kenton so we may assist you.

Register here.

DESIGN YOUR DREAM FARM

July 28th and 30th, August 4th and 6th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Decide what kind of farm you would like, learn about considerations for land use, and make a plan for your dream farm.  Learning will take place through games, exploration of a soil survey tool, and some individual activities.  A presentation of farm designs will be the culminating event.

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Rose Garritano at 802-651-8343 or 800-571-0668 by July 7, 2020 so we may assist you.

Registration here

SUMMER OF SCIENCE

Enjoy a summer filled with science! Join us Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00 pm at our weekly virtual science cafe where you will meet a scientist, learn about their work, and get to ask questions. Open to youth entering grades 7-12 in the Fall; runs June 24 – August 12. See the attached flyer with the schedule of topics. (Flyer, PDF)

For links to register to this event, head to our Announcements page. Registration links are listed under each date and topic.

Meet Nikki Santillo: New Haven County Farmer’s Market Intern

Hello, my name is Nikki Santillo. I am interning with the New Haven County farmer’s market. I am a rising junior majoring in Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Food Science. In the fall semester, I was able to connect with an after school program the nutrition club supported. I helped inform the children about healthy decision making while preparing nutritious snacks. I hope to return and be a full time participant in the Nutrition Club this coming year.

My role with the New Haven County farmer’s market is to educate farmer’s market attendees about healthy, affordable recipes to create using the produce at the market. I am generating social media posts that are available to the public on UConn Extension’s multiple social media platforms. My goal is to explain how fruits and vegetables are important for our health and can be tailored to the individual’s taste. My first recipe, cauliflower fried rice, focuses on how vegetables can be used to increase the nutrient density of a typical dish. I enjoy finding new and healthy substitutions using fresh foods.

The Meriden farmer’s market opens July 11th and is held every Saturday up until October 17th. I encourage everyone nearby to go and support local farmers while also developing a healthy lifestyle.