See more from this Session: Experiential Learning and Action Education: II
Monday, October 17, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
Experiential learning is an independent, self-motivated, work-based cyclic learning process. An individual encounters experiences upon which perception and reflection occur. Ideas are conceptualized as probable solutions and implemented. Finally an evaluation of the effectiveness of the solutions occurs and are updated or modified as required. This learning process is preferred over classroom instruction because it allows the individual to take ownership and responsibility of the decisions made. The objective of this presentation was to summarize and exhibit the benefits of an internship experience guided by experiential learning. Over the past two years I have been part of a summer internship team. In the summer of 2010, we were involved in watershed science research with the Sassafras River Association (SRA) and we interacted with watershed volunteers. We were in charge of stream discharge calibrations, GIS work and stream water quality measurements. Summer 2011, I worked with the City of Dover, Office of Planning. I reviewed National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting and made recommendations to the city for public outreach. I created brochures and fact sheets on environmentally sustainable urban watersheds. I scheduled workshops and wrote a composting white paper. The information I compiled was made available to the public through publications and the Web. I created an environmental survey to distribute to the city’s residents and uploaded a drip irrigation installation video on YouTube. My internship experiences have made me more aware and passionate about my future career in environmental studies. Through the utilization of the experiential learning process, I have been able to implement leadership skills, be creative, and make decisions that I am most confident will work in my areas of interest. This project was supported by Delaware EPSCoR, through National Science Foundation Grant EPS-0447601 and Wesley College.