Vital Signs Summer Internship

Hi Vital Signs Community!

I'm Jeffrey, the 2013 VS Summer intern. In a quick blog post, I wanted to introduce myself and give all of you a quick overview of what I've done this summer for the VS community.

I'm a freshman at Williams College in Massachusetts (but I'm from Kansas City!). I plan to double major in Environmental Science and Psychology. In high school, I was the editor of my school newspaper, I worked with the Middle School Science Olympiad program, and I competed on my school's Envirothon team. I've channeled this passion for the environment and education into Vital Signs this summer.

I wanted to give the VS community a quick update on my happenings this summer and what's been going on inside Vital Signs headquarters. Here are a few of the big activities I've worked on this summer (there have been a lot of other, smaller activities too, between these bigger projects!):

  • Species Cards: I spent part of my summer updating the VS species card collection. Our biggest work has been to fill the gaps in our macroinvertebrate species card list. We now have an AWESOME one-sheet identification guide to macroinvertebrates to make field work a lot easier! Check it out, and use it in the field!
  • VS Events: This summer, we hosted, and attended, a few key Vital Signs events. We invited the Sustainable Ocean Studies students from Waynflete to learn about GMRI and Vital Signs. We also brought Vital Signs to Cow Island and helped the Ripple Effect campers upload FIFTY new observations! Two other events to fill the summer included: representing Vital Signs at the 2013 Maine Beaches Conference at SMCC and the annual GMRI intern event!
  • Web Updates: I also spent some of my summer honing my HTML skills while updating parts of the Vital Signs webpage! Most of my work was focused on the Best Of and News pages. My favorite new news article is the one on lionfish becoming obese.
  • The Citizen Scientist Challenge: This activity has been the focus of my summer. Using tons of data obtained from last year's Creative Kid Invasion Contest, we have worked to launch a new Citizen Scientist Challenge. At this point, I cannot announce an official release date of the Challenge, but keep your eyes posted on the VS website this fall to look for the official launch of the Challenge! This Challenge is a partnership between the Vital Signs and LabVenture programs at GMRI. More info to come (we need to keep you on the edge of your seat a little bit, don't we?).

Finally, to give you all a glimpse into Vital Signs headquarters, below is a labeled guide to my desk. You can now see where all of the VS work gets done!


Keep doing Vital Signs and uploading observations! Even though my internship ends in three days, I'll still keep working with VS! (I also serve as the macroinvertebrate species expert, so go do the Water Quality Mission!)

- Kansas (AKA Jeffrey)

My VS username: Mainer95