Like springtime, opportunity is in the air at Rider, with Environmental Science and Journalism dual major Katelyn White ’14 landing a summer internship with Climate Central, a climate research organization that publishes peer-reviewed research about climate science.
White became acquainted with the organization last fall when Dr. Heidi Cullen, Climate Central’s director of communications and chief climatologist, gave a teach-in presentation to students at Rider. As a result, Dr. Michael Brogan, assistant professor of Political Science, and Dr. Dan Druckenbrod, assistant professor of Environmental Science saw an opportunity for students to further engage the organization through its Princeton, N.J., branch.
“Dr. Brogan and I thought it would be a great idea to see if Climate Central worked with interns,” Druckenbrod explained. “We learned that they occasionally do, and that they were interested in working with a student from Rider. We sent over a list of four qualified students and Katelyn was the student who stood out most to Climate Central.”
White, who also carries a minor in Sustainability Studies, and is also an Eco-Rep for Rider’s Sustainability Office. Considering her academic and personal interests, the internship was a natural fit for her.
“With my background in Journalism and Environmental Science, which might seem to be an unusual pairing, along with my hobby in photography, I think I was a great candidate for the internship,” explained White, who is also a photographer for The Shadow, Rider’s annual student yearbook. “Climate Central is an opportunity for me to build toward my future.”
Climate Central also promotes climate-change awareness through various journalistic avenues. As an intern, White will have the opportunity to gain perspective on how science learned in the classroom translates to real-world science policy and education initiatives.
“Climate change has been a main topic of discussion in ENV-220, my Weather and Climate Change class,” said White. It’s a very challenging but interesting class, in that we learn about the past and potential future change in the climate that the Earth has gone or will go through. I’m looking forward to learning more about this once my internship beings.”
Just as weather patterns appear to be changing, so, too, are research and the methods journalists use to spread public awareness. Hiring interns and providing experience to students equipped with the latest education and research techniques provides benefits for both the company and students themselves.
“I couldn’t be happier for her Katelyn,” Druckenbrod said. “Internships like these are very important for our students and help them to focus on a career direction for life after Rider.”
White, who hopes to one day work for National Geographic, believes that as Climate Central data is used by such sources such as The New York Times, The Associated Press, NBC Nightly News, CBS, CNN, and National Geographic itself, having this internship will also be a direct resource for her in the near future.
“This opportunity is definitely a starting point for my career,” White said. “I’ve always felt that it’s my obligation to make people more aware about these issues that affect them every day, and I can’t wait to start working for Climate Central this summer and help to make that happen in such a direct way.”