COVID-19 UPDATE: The Harris Center has canceled or postponed all in-person programs and events through at least June 15. The Harris Center building will also be closed to visitors until June 15. Our trails and grounds remain open.
We’re proud to partner with the Keene State College (KSC) School of Sciences, Sustainability, and Health on an innovative, eight-week summer conservation internship experience for undergraduates. Under the guidance of Harris Center staff and KSC faculty, four interns gain specialized training and firsthand experience with many facets of the Harris Center’s diverse work each summer, with a special focus on ecological inventory. Together, the interns document vernal pools, inventory forest communities and invasive plants, survey road-stream crossings, monitor chestnut plantings, and more.
This internship program is a win-win: the Harris Center acquires scientific data that we can use to better steward the lands in our care, and the students get an unparalleled, hands-on learning experience.
“Working in the field alongside conservation professionals helps the students see how their classroom education applies to the conservation challenges we face every day, and how even the things that we take for granted, like roads, can have significant environmental impacts,” reflects program co-founder Dr. William Fleeger. “It exposes them to the demands and possibilities of the profession that it is impossible to replicate in any other way.”
Note: Although this conservation internship program is only open to students in the Environmental Studies Department at Keene State College, the Harris Center often hires other student interns to assist with our land, citizen science, and education programs. See a list of current internship openings here.
The 2015 conservation internship team prepares to conduct a wildlife road mortality survey. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)
The 2015 conservation internship team poses with a spotted salamander egg mass. (photo © Will Holden)
2017 intern Anthony Oatley examines a stem of invasive Japanese barberry. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)
We also regularly collaborate with students and faculty at Keene State College, Franklin Pierce University, and other institutions to craft capstone research, independent study, and honors projects with applied conservation value. If you’ve got an idea for a project, drop us a line!
A soil sample collected by KSC student researchers Garrett Hopkins & Ezra Richardson, as part of a capstone research project examining the effects of wildfire on soil health.
KSC student researchers document invasive species along a road-stream crossing. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)
KSC student researcher Elijah Wyman observes bee activity during the first growing season of the Harris Center's pollinator garden. (photo © Will Holden)
For more information on undergraduate research with the Harris Center, please contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 358-2065 or by email.