Internships

Dark Skies/CC After Dark project

 

DarkSkiesInternshipInsta.jpeg

Dark Skies/CC After Dark project

In collaboration with the physics and anthropology departments and the Chaplain's office, students will research dark skies initiatives and policies of the region. Many towns in the West are passing dark sky initiatives, which have exposed many benefits. Student-researchers with interests in physics/astronomy, philosophy, and anthropology will be tasked with providing the history of the cosmos (the stars/constellations we see in the western skies), and its fundamental influence on being human, (and thus our ideologies, philosophies, cultures, religion, etc.); the role of stars in navigation and exploration of our planet; our understanding of our significance in the universe; migration; astrology; myths (maybe emphasize western US indigenous, Afro-American, and Latinx) and celebrations/ceremonies, and stories. Students will examine the eco-environmental impact of too much light during the dark hours – for example, the effect on the nocturnal process (i.e., CAM4 photosynthesis; species diversity and populations; migration and feeding; photosynthesis; pollination; sleep; etc.). Another component of this will entail collecting photos and sound recordings of dark skies in towns and comparing them to the dark skies the same night in Colorado Springs. What stars are visible in each location? What do we hear in the dark? Is sound a conservation concern? A survey of community members’ attitudes toward the Dark Skies initiative around campus, Colorado Springs, and other Dark Skies communities will also help us to determine if this is a conservation concern and if so, whether questions such as these should be included in the  2023 Conservation in the West Poll and whether this might be a consideration for policy-making. 

Meet the Rockies' Dark Skies Summer '22 project interns

Michael Braithwaite Dark Skies 2022

Michael Braithwaite, '23

Hello! My name is Michael and I am from Boston, Massachusetts. Here at CC, I am majoring in physics and minoring in journalism, and I work for The Catalyst as a member of the editorial staff. I've loved the night sky ever since I was little, and a few years ago I started trying to take pictures of them - a hobby that I continue to this day. I've been following the State of The Rockies project for some time now, and I'm so excited to finally be a part of it as an intern for the Dark Skies project!

Katie JoslynKatie Joslyn, '23

Katie Joslyn is a sophomore from Middleton, Wisconsin. She is majoring in physics with an astrophysics emphasis. In her free time, Katie enjoys snowboarding, biking, hiking, and art. She loves math, science, space, and dinosaurs and is so excited to be a part of the Dark Skies Initiative project!

 

Ben Roche 2022 Ben Roche, '23

I’m Ben Roche and I’m a sophomore geology major at Colorado College. While it’s not my major, astronomy and the night sky have always been an interest of mine! I’ve got a telescope at home that I use to observe the stars whenever I get a chance. I’m from Chicago, and as such light pollution has always been a problem that I’d wanted to help minimize. I’m very excited to work for the State of the Rockies to make Colorado more sustainable and help people regain a beautiful night sky.

Drew Manning 2022Drew Manning, '22

Drew Manning is a senior Physics and Environmental Studies double major from Wellesley, Massachusetts. Outside of class he is a tutor at the Quantitative Reasoning Center and serves as co-chair of CC’s = Freeriders Union. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, reading, and collecting houseplants. He is thrilled to be spending this summer investigating the night sky with the State of the Rockies.

 

 

Dark Skies interns essential duties:

Provide scientific background on how stars came into existence, the myths and creation stories we have created about them; the role of stars in navigation and exploration of our planet; our understanding of our significance in the universe, migration; photosynthesis, nocturnal plant, and animal processes/behaviors; pollination; sleep; etc. Research Dark Skies initiatives and policies of the region Collect photos of dark skies in towns and compare them to the dark skies the same night in Colorado Springs. What stars are visible in each location? Sound recordings: What do we hear in the dark? Is sound a conservation concern? Write and conduct a survey of community members’ attitudes toward the Dark Skies initiative around campus, Colorado Springs, members of Dark Skies communities, etc. Sustainability students assess CC campus and maybe start a CC ‘After Dark’ project.
• Determine if this is a conservation concern (as determined by the survey) and if so, whether this question should be included in the 2023 Conservation in the West poll. What’s the potential for this to be a consideration for policy-making?
Help promote CC After Dark dark skies initiatives and implementations as a model for other colleges and communities. 

This project is made possible with the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

 

Going Public with the Conservation in the West Poll: Public Lands Survey of Visitors project

Public Lands survey poster

Survey of Public Land Visitors

The project team will work with CC’s Outdoor Education department and CC's Journalism Institute to send five students to survey visitors (using Conservation in the West Poll based questions) to the three or four most popular national parks in the Rocky Mountain West. The student researchers will visit the identified parks to interview other visitors to the parks, campgrounds, visitor centers, etc. to assess who is using our public lands, why, and whether the in-person interview responses of park visitors are represented by the Poll and if other issues surface that are not covered by the on-line and phone Poll survey. 

The objective is to engage CC students and incorporate their research findings, allowing the students to create their own questions to be included in the 2023 Conservation in the West Poll. The student researchers’ questions will be based on the 2021 Poll with a specific focus on DEI questions with the aim of gaining deeper perspectives. We hope to garner a better understanding of challenges and misconceptions we have about each other. The survey may reveal some interesting findings by gauging how people feel about the condition of some of our iconic parks and forests, climate change, accessibility, use or why they are there, where they are from, etc.

Student Project Researchers will work with the State of the Rockies Project/Outdoor Ed/Journalism Institute collaborative to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors.  Student researchers will travel by car to three or four of the most popular national parks, forests, and monuments in Rocky Mountain West to survey park visitors.  The student researchers’ primary role will be to visit the identified parks’ nearby campgrounds and trailheads, local area visitors’ centers, etc., and while doing so, interview visitors to the park areas.  Students will investigate individual characteristics of park attendees, how they recreate in the parks, attitudes toward climate change, and other conservation topics.  Directed by The State of the Rockies, this spring and summer 2022 five student researchers will tour the identified parks and while doing so, interview other visitors to the parks, campgrounds, visitor centers, etc.

Meet the Rockies' Public Lands Visitors Survey Summer '22 project interns

Henry HoddeHenry Hodde, '24

My name is Henry Hodde and I am a rising junior here at Colorado College. I am from Middlebury, VT, have two younger brothers, and spend my free time skiing, hiking, and DJ-ing music on Monday nights at our college radio station. I got involved with this project as I am an aspiring environmental journalist, hold strong connections to the outdoors, and want to work towards equal opportunity for all to experience the breathtaking natural spaces that define the Rocky Mountain region.

Anil JergensAnil Jergens, '23

Anil is from a small town near Madison, Wisconsin, where he grew up enjoying all things nature with his best friends. Birding, cycling, hiking, and (when he had to) scrambling around the iciest trails imaginable. His love for the Rocky Mountains came when he spent many of his childhood summers in Montana with his grandparents. More recently, Anil has declared as a Mathematical Economics and History double major at CC, two majors which have more wonderful overlap than you might imagine. His interest in the work State of the Rockies is doing came from a short stint working in Nepal with Community Conservation, Inc. where they tackled similar problems in a vastly different context. Anil hopes that real change can be affected in the world through work on State of the Rockies’ existing data and the projects this fantastic team will be doing.

Sam Nystrom CostalesSam Nystrom-Costales, '25

Sam is a rising sophomore at Colorado College. He is from Eugene, Oregon, where he enjoys exploring and photographing the central Cascade Range. His concern and interest for conservation was sparked by the ever-worsening forest fires that have eaten away at the old growth forests of his home state. He intends to major in Economics, and is looking forward to working in the field with State of the Rockies over this summer.  

Cecilia TimbergCecilia Timberg, '24

Cecilia Timberg is an environmental studies and anthropology double major from Washington, DC. Her main academic interests lie in the field of human ecology, studying the relationship between humans and the natural world. She is very excited to explore those themes through the State of the Rockies Public Lands Survey work this summer. She also writes for The Catalyst Student Newspaper and works for Colorado College Outdoor Education. 

 

Sama ZamanSama Zaman, '25

Sama Zaman
Class of 2025
Intended major: Molecular biology
Favorite Spongebob Episode: S7 Ep7

 

 

This project is made possible with the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

 

Report an issue - Last updated: 07/05/2022