College of the Atlantic student Gemma Venuti ’18 measures a red maple sapling as part of her work with the Acadia National Park exotic plants management crew. Venuti is one of COA's inaugural Acadia Scholars.College of the Atlantic student Gemma Venuti ’18 measures a red maple sapling as part of her work with the Acadia National Park exotic plants management crew. Venuti is one of COA's inaugural Acadia Scholars.

Noah Rosenberg ’18 and Gemma Venuti ’18 spent their summer breaks as interns in communications and invasive plants management, respectively, gaining vital, on-the-job experience in fields they intend to pursue after graduation.

“I’ve always heard about how difficult it is to get a job, or internship, or anything with the park, so, this has been so incredible,” Venuti said. “It’s certainly hard work, but it’s valuable, it’s amazing, and I feel good doing it, because what we’re doing is helping the national park visitor experience.”

COA student Noah Rosenberg ’18 takes a break while working in the field on Acadia National Park's Schoodic Peninsula. Rosenberg, on of COA's inaugural Acadia Scholars, spent his summer break as a communications and development assistant intern with Schoodic Institute as part of COA's new Acadia Scholars program.COA student Noah Rosenberg ’18 takes a break while working in the field on Acadia National Park's Schoodic Peninsula. Rosenberg, on of COA's inaugural Acadia Scholars, spent his summer break as a communications and development assistant intern with Schoodic Institute as part of COA's new Acadia Scholars program.The Acadia Scholars Program places students like Venuti and Rosenberg in areas such as natural resource management, interpretation, and communicating science, in both Acadia and Schoodic. The program is underwritten by a two-year, $30,000 grant from the Endeavor Foundation. The Davis Conservation Foundation provided seed funding for the project in 2016.

“The people who work for Acadia and Schoodic Institute are so incredibly dedicated and knowledgeable, they’re just an inspiring group to learn from. They care deeply about what they are doing and want to pass their knowledge on to the next generation,” said College of the Atlantic David Rockefeller Family Chair in Ecosystem Management and Protection Professor Ken Cline. “Getting a job in the conservation field is hard, and experience is really important. This is a way to give students that experience and to give them exposure in the field.”

The program, which builds on relationships that have been developing for many years, is of great value to Acadia, ANP Superintendent Kevin Schneider said.

“Acadia National Park greatly benefits from College of the Atlantic students and their perspectives on human ecology. We need their ideas, energy and solutions through the Acadia Scholars program and through their work at Schoodic Institute,” Schneider said.

Rosenberg, who is working as a communications and development assistant intern with Schoodic Institute, said that his interdisciplinary studies at COA have really taught him about the value of different perspectives, which has helped him with his position this summer.

Noah Rosenberg ’18 helps get the Schoodic Institute story out while working as a COA Acadia Scholar intern in the Institute's communications office. He is seen here on the rocky shore of Schoodic Point in Acadia National Park.Noah Rosenberg ’18 helps get the Schoodic Institute story out while working as a COA Acadia Scholar intern in the Institute's communications office. He is seen here on the rocky shore of Schoodic Point in Acadia National Park.

“Just yesterday, I was with a group of educators, worm diggers, clammers, and park scientists, and having a conversation with all of them about intertidal uses. I really understood the importance of being open to what you don’t know and really listening to people,” he said. “I might not have been able to understand all these different perspectives had I been just a biologist.”

Rosenberg worked on a number of projects as part of Schoodic’s communications office, including creating videos that tell the Schoodic story, writing stories about researchers, park personnel, and local history for the organization’s email newsletter, and helping update website content. His efforts were of great value to the office, said Schoodic communications manager Sarah Brundage.

Working with Acadia National Park's exotic plants management crew is fantastic, Gemma Venuti ’18 said, “because it's in a beautiful place, and we're looking at these amazing plants, and fieldwork is what I want to do.”Working with Acadia National Park's exotic plants management crew is fantastic, Gemma Venuti ’18 said, “because it's in a beautiful place, and we're looking at these amazing plants, and fieldwork is what I want to do.”“Schoodic Institute certainly benefited from Noah’s hard work and commitment to the Institute’s mission of advancing ecosystem science and learning for all ages. Throughout the summer he expertly communicated intertidal and forest research in Acadia National Park through quality video, photos and written word,” Brundage said. “At the same time, Noah was given opportunities to benefit from workshops and citizen science events with specialists from across the country. Schoodic Institute is fortunate to have been a part of the COA Acadia Scholar program.”

Venuti worked this summer with the park’s exotic plants management crew, traveling over land and sea to hike through thick vegetation to measure, plot, and remove invasive plants, while also doing an independent study on invasive plant seed dispersal along park roadways.

The work, she said, “is fantastic, because it’s in a beautiful place, and we’re looking at these amazing plants, and fieldwork is what I want to do.”

Venuti, who has studied geology and biology while at COA, said that the internship experience is fantastic not just for her resume but from the large amount of new skills she’s learned from Acadia’s exotic plant specialist and his crew.

“They’re funny and all so incredibly knowledgeable,” she said. “I’m really happy that I’ve been able to build my resume this way, but, also, now when I apply to jobs, I can confidently say, ‘I’m able to do these things, and if you hire me I can do them for you.’”

 

Gemma Venuti ’18 enjoys a laugh with Acadia National Park exotic plants management crew leader Jess Wheeler, right. Venuti interned on Wheeler's team as part of her position as a College of the Atlantic Acadia Scholar.Gemma Venuti ’18 enjoys a laugh with Acadia National Park exotic plants management crew leader Jess Wheeler, right. Venuti interned on Wheeler's team as part of her position as a College of the Atlantic Acadia Scholar.

Rosenberg has had a varied course of study at the College, embracing the learning philosophy of human ecology and focusing on areas like communications, video production, and biological sciences. His work with the Schoodic Institute this summer has really helped him see that a unique course of study such as the one he’s had can prove to be incredibly practical in the working world, he said.

“I’ve been able to apply my education in human ecology to actual scenarios and challenges,” he said. “Our mission at Schoodic is to communicate ecosystem science to the general public, and having gone through a COA education, I’ve been able to see quite clearly how to do that.”

College of the Atlantic student Noah Rosenberg ’18 created videos, photos, and stories to tell the story of Schoodic Institute during his time there as a COA Acadia Scholar.College of the Atlantic student Noah Rosenberg ’18 created videos, photos, and stories to tell the story of Schoodic Institute during his time there as a COA Acadia Scholar.The Acadia Scholars program will select two to three students annually who will pursue internships, coursework, and independent studies related to the Park and resource protection. The students maintain the Acadia Scholar status for the remainder of their time at COA, and are likely to focus their capstone senior projects on some aspect of their work as Acadia Scholars.

“We are so pleased and grateful to be offering a program like this to our students,” COA President Darron Collins ’92 said. “Acadia National Park and the Schoodic Institute attract the very highest caliber of scientists, ecologists, and natural resource specialists. Placing our students in their capable hands for a summer is truly an incredible opportunity.”

College of the Atlantic is the first college in the U.S. to focus on the relationship between humans and the environment. The Sierra Club named College of the Atlantic the #1 green college in the United States in 2016 and 2017. Princeton Review ranked COA the top green college in the nation in 2016. The intentionally small school of 350 students and 35 faculty members offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in human ecology – the study of how humans interact with our natural, social and technological environments. Each student develops their own course of study in human ecology, collaborating and innovating across multiple disciplines.