Protecting water resources needs a multi-faceted approach. Last spring, senior Taylor Richmond of Virginia Beach got to experience what that means through a new semester-long paid internship in the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, housed in the college. “The internship gave me a glimpse into the political and professional world of water resources,” said Richmond, who majored in environmental resource management. “It takes both science and policy.”

“We wanted our intern to be exposed to many aspects of water resources but also to focus on some of the student’s areas of interest,” said Research Associate Alan Raflo. Richmond participated in research on the process of leaf litter decomposition in headwater streams, attended a public meeting for citizens about local water quality, and worked on outreach efforts including the center’s radio program and blog.

Richmond said that the opportunity to take part in a meeting of the National Institutes of Water Resources and also work with the team meeting on Capitol Hill to convey to legislators the value of supporting the reauthorization of the Water Resources Research Act gave her insight to the policy side. She also visited the Virginia General Assembly and met with the House of Delegate’s member who serves on the State Advisory Board.

Richmond’s experiences led to her securing a job as a biological technician with Nature’s Capital, an ecological assessment service provider in Boise, Idaho, after graduating in May.