Company/Organization: New Jersey Meadowlands Commission
Mentor(s):Joe Grzyb, Erika Baldino, Christine Hobble
Topic of Internship
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, originally the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission, was created through the Hackensack Meadowlands Reclamation and Development Act, January 13, 1969. The NJMC is located at One DeKorte Park Plaza Lynduhurst, New Jersey and covers parts of 14 municipalities in Bergen and Hudson County. These locations include Carlstadt, East Rutherford, and Hackensack. The main objectives of the NJMC are the preservation of nature, protection from pollution, and the zoning of land. Out of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission is the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute, which is the department in which I intern. The environmental research institute collects and analyzes data from the meadowlands, which can range from soil samples to the pH levels of the water. The information and data that is collected are provided to the public through a public database. Along with analyzing, MERI promotes the research for new technologies and technological advancements. There are also multiple scientists, researchers, and specialists within the department, three of which are my mentors. The director of MERI is Dr. Francisco Artigas. My mentors include Christine Hobble, Joe Grzyb, and Erika Baldino. Joe and Erika are environmental chemists/scientists for this department.
Summary of Internship
I walk through the doors of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission almost every Thursday. Once Iím there, the first thing I always have done was take temperature logs for the freezers and fridges of the floor. It is important to keep track of the temperatures in order to ensure the samples will be safe and will not be affected by any outside interferences. After this, I typically have three things I could do. I could work in the lab, go into the field, or would in the office. In the lab, I have a wide variety of things I can work on. Sometimes, I get to do some very interesting experiments such as titration, pH level testing, and TSS (Total Suspended Solids). One of the most interesting at the moment is sample testing for the Seacaucus High School site due to its high pH levels for unknown reasons. In the lab, I learned a lot about chemistry. I have always had some background knowledge of chemistry, but it furthered my skills through hands on learning. When I was in the field, I did a lot of fun things. I would collect the soil samples I would test or even do certain tests on the ground. This is called sets. It tests for how far the ground has eroded. I even got to ride boats. Occasionally, I get to work in the office as well and I typically do data analysis. I make tables and graphs of the data I collect and compare it to previous data.
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