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Hands-on Internship Exposes Students to Natural Resource Management Careers (August 6, 2008)

Feeding shrimps and other marine species, collecting and studying insects, constructing aquarium systems, and preparing plant tissue cultures are only some of the duties that several students are carrying out as part of the Northern Marianas College internship program that promotes their understanding of agricultural systems and opportunities.

The internship, which started earlier this week, is part of the NMC Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Service (CREES) Agricultural Development in the American Pacific (ADAP) Internship Program.

Funded by the ADAP Capacity Building Program and CARIPAC/Resident Instruction Program, the internship aims to attract, recruit, and encourage students to enroll in NMC’s Associate in Natural Resource Management program, a 2-year degree program that prepares graduates to enter careers in agricultural and life sciences.

The program hired and assigned 21 student interns at various CREES programs on Saipan, six on Rota, and two on Tinian.

The Entomology Research section has four summer interns from Saipan: Lyza Lacsina, Ramon San Nicolas, Tristan Garcia, and Samuel Joyner. They are now assisting with the collection, identification, and preservation of insects and other arthropods such as fleas, ants, wasps, mosquitoes, and various agricultural crop pests.

Seven interns are currently exploring the work performed in the Plant Pathology section. Joseph Ada, Anthony Alepuyo, Chad Atalig, Muhammad Islam, Nature Atalig, Masako Atalig, and Kim King are learning how to prepare plant tissue cultures and to collect and input data. They also assist with planting seeds, watering plants, weeding, mulching, and labeling plants.

The Aquaculture Program has three interns. Jay Villagomez, Loremel Hocog, Marseli Frank, and Mark Badilles assist with the maintenance and cleaning of tanks, filters, grounds and plumbing systems, assist in the feeding of shrimps, tilapia, and other marine species, and the keeping of accurate records of feedings, growth, and water quality. They also assist with the research and construction of recycling aquarium systems, program presentations and demonstrations.

The 4-H Program has six interns: Luizi Reyes, Cherita Yangirefil, Isaiah Lizama, Anamaria Inos, Johora Paeda, and Chris Castro. They are engaged in the organization and coordination of Summer Camp activities, including assisting volunteers chaperone the 4-H members during the camp, collecting and summarizing activity evaluation, assisting in daily administrative duties such as answering the telephone, filing, routing of documents and camp preparation, and other assigned duties.

In the meantime, Albert Palacios, Matthew Mancao, Raina Cing, and Vicky Barcinas are working in the EFNEP-NDPA program by assisting with the preparation of demonstrations and presentations pertaining to nutrition, physical activity and health. They also help with filing and organizing documents, preparing literature for distribution to various audiences, and other related assigned duties.

CREES also has one administrative assistant intern, Macy Agoun. She assists in preparing documents, routing, filing, and answering phones. The intern assigned to the Office of the Dean is Jessy Jastillana. Jessy works with administrative managers and other support staff and is undergoing training on general office procedures, customer/phone/office etiquette, preparing meeting packets, and the use and operation of office technology equipment.

There are two administrative interns for the Community Development Institute (CDI) office: Venetia Deleon Guerrero, and Tamara Masga. They answer the telephone and assist in filing. The Outreach Program has two interns: Joey Sison and Leilani Cepeda. They are assisting by taking photos, writing press releases, and preparing reports. The ADAP Summer Internship Program was designed to afford the students specialized knowledge and work experience while promoting their understanding of CREES programs. Upon the completion of the program, the interns are also likely to gain valuable insight and heightened respect for the island’s environment and fragile natural resources. Additionally, students are encouraged to realize the advantages of giving back to the community and making a difference by starting some lifestyle changes that ultimately benefit the CNMI.


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