Company/Organization: New Jersey Meadowlands Commission
Topic of Internship
Founded under the Hackensack Meadowlands Reclamation and Development Act, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission recognizes the importance of the Meadowlands as a unique place for new jobs, thriving communities and recreational opportunities in New Jersey. As stated in the act, the Meadowlands is acknowledged as ďa land resource of incalculable opportunity for new jobs, homes and recreational sites.Ē Being in the heart of a vast metropolitan area, the NJMC aims to preserve environmental balance of nature. An important department under the NJMC is the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute. This department is in charge the research, as well as developing new technologies, directed towards the environmental problems concerning the Meadowlands. Through the collection, analysis, and communication of environmental information obtained, the MERI continues to preserve a healthy balance of nature in the Meadowlands to this day.
Summary of Internship
After arriving to my internship every Thursday morning, I start the day by checking all of the labís refrigerators and freezers. The purpose for this is so that all samples previously collected are stored in appropriate conditions. If a temperature is too high or too low, it could ultimately affect the samplesí experiments in the future. After completing this task I move on to any task given to me by my mentor. On several occasions I was given lab procedures to perform. For example I performed the rotary experiment which extracts all solvents from the sample in order to obtain the main portion of the sample to observe the specific conditions of that sampleís area. Another was the evaporation procedure involving nitrogen gas, which provides only the main portion of the sample, and BOD experiment, which makes sure the water supply near landfills arenít contaminated. Besides lab procedures I also would go on site visits with my mentor which either involves extracting data or maintaining equipment.
This internship involvement has been a once in a lifetime experience. Iíve obtained extensive scientific knowledge as well as work experience. These types of lessons my mentor has taught me would never have been obtained inside a traditional classroom. Besides the environmental awareness Iíve obtained, I also learned how to work in a professional lab environment, from safety procedures to completing lab experiments. This type of research experience Iím obtaining is rare for high school students to acquire, and Iím grateful for the level of trust Ms. Eaton and my mentor, Joe Grzyb, put into me so that I am able to carry on this internship.
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