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Short-term Internship: Exploring Conservation Research

My name is Anna Stehlik and I am participating in a short-term internship at the Chicago Botanic Garden during my school’s winter term this January. I am a senior at DePauw University studying environmental biology and am a part of the Environmental Fellows Program which is an environmentally- an sustainability-based honors program. I am also involved with the Sustainability Leadership Program and have been a campus farm intern for the past several years. On the campus farm, I have helped to establish a bee hive and deliver pollinator education programs to local school groups. I first became interested in pollinator health and habitat when my family began beekeeping about seven years ago and I focused my Girl Scout Gold Award project on creating a honey bee education program. I am also an avid hiker and spend my summers working at a backpacking ranch in the mountains of New Mexico. This past summer at the ranch, I had the opportunity to teach about the plants and wildlife in the area as well as the history of wildlife conservation.

My passion for the outdoors has driven me to pursue an education and career in environmental biology and conservation. I am very excited to explore the work done in the conservation lab here at the Chicago Botanic Garden. On my first day, I have learned about the fragmentation of prairie habitat and the work done here to learn how purple coneflower is affected. So far, I have been able to clean and process Echinacea flower heads to remove the achenes, and have also gotten to count achenes on scanned images.

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