Summer is often a time of relaxation and trips to the beach. However, some students at Glenville State College spent part of their summer break completing internships and research projects.

Environmental science major Michael Pracht, from Paw Paw, West Virginia, completed an internship as a student ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Burnsville Lake in Burnsville, West Virginia.

His internship was arranged through the student Pathways Program, which is designed to introduce students to potential career opportunities within the federal government.

“Each day at work brings a new surprise, but most of my time is spent interacting with campers and ensuring visitor safety,” Pracht said in a release. “Some unique things I have gotten to do include distributing water safety literature at several local parades, taking elementary students on tours of our historical area, and helping more turtles across the road than I had ever imagined.”

Pracht is a junior at Glenville State College and a member of the honors program. He is the son of Kenneth and Rebecca Pracht.

Zachary White, a senior at Glenville State College, works on the college’s forest property. (Photo courtesy of Glenville State College.)

Senior forestry student Zachary White also completed a month’s worth of research at Glenville State College’s college forest near the Waco Center, the space that is frequently used by natural resource management students as an outdoor lab space.

White is studying and quantifying water use of three co-occurring oak species – black, white and chestnut oak.

Biology and chemistry double major Sam Canfield, of Cowen, West Virginia, completed research on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is working with the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDERC East) and is studying how leech predation on native and invasive snails are affected by water temperature.

Students in varied degree programs are required to complete some type of internship experience to satisfy their graduation requirements at Glenville State College. Additionally, research opportunities are often used to expand on skills learned in the classroom and broaden exploration into career paths and interest areas.

“We encourage all students to take advantage of these unique learning opportunities,” said GSC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Milan Vavrek in a release. “Students participating in research or internships generally become more competitive obtaining jobs and graduate school admission.”