The Raritan Scholars program is a great opportunity to engage Rutgers students in a substantive internship as well as an opportunity for you to advance your local projects. The Rutgers Scholars course is a four-credit program that requires an undergraduate student to spend at least 125 hours directly involved in a project that benefits the Raritan River Basin. The response from both students and internship sponsors has been great over the last six semesters with between 8 and 15 students doing internships each semester. The program, under the direction of Dr. Dan Van Abs, Associate Professor of Practice for Water, Society & Environment in the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers’ School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, seeks internship proposals from non-profit organizations and government agencies with operations in or directly affecting the Raritan Basin.
Prospective entities should develop and send a proposed project to Dr. Van Abs. Each project must be a substantive effort resulting in some sort of clear product or finished result. Students cannot earn credit for an internship that is clerical or just involving labor (e.g., planting and weeding a garden) – there must be a real learning process involved. Projects that are clearly related to some aspect of watershed management are preferred. Projects can involve one or more students, recognizing that multi-student teams can be harder to fill. GIS projects also can be harder to fill, as those students tend to have a lot of demand for their abilities. Please propose projects for no more than two students per organization. If you had a proposal from a prior semester that didn’t get filled and want to try again, let Dr. Van Abs know and you can simply resubmit that proposal.
Proposals are solicited twice a year several months in advance of each semester. For more information and to secure a detailed copy of the proposal guidelines and application, contact Dr. Dan Van Abs at email@example.com.
Students Gain Watershed Management Experience Through Raritan Scholars Project
About the Raritan Scholars Program
The Raritan Scholars program provides Rutgers students with internships related to watershed management in the Raritan River watershed. The program was originally proposed in 2013 by Dr. Judy Shaw, who then worked for the Bloustein School and coordinated the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative (SRRI). The course has been taught by Dr. Daniel Van Abs, a member of the Human Ecology Department at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, since its inception in the 2013 Spring semester.
According to Dr. Van Abs, “the fundamental goal [of Raritan Scholars] is to provide students with an opportunity to develop and complete a substantive project under the guidance of an internship sponsor, so that they can experience the work experience and better understand the value of watershed management.” Raritan Scholars students gain work experience, professional connections, and a better understanding of the watershed management field. Former Raritan Scholars students have gone on to careers in watershed management and related fields, with former students working for the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SBMWA) , the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the National Parks Service.
Raritan Scholars partners include the SRRI, the Raritan Headwaters Association, the NY/NJ Baykeeper, the SBMWA, the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership, the Lawrence Brook Watershed Partnership, the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, Monmouth Conservation Foundation, Duke Farms, Somerset County government and often other county and municipal governments. Ongoing projects include the development of a public education website for Raritan Headwaters, which provides information about more than 50 subwatersheds, and the development of chapters for the Somerset County Environmental Resource inventory. Internship positions have included, water quality monitoring, farmland and open space preservation, and public education and outreach.
Raritan Scholars is open to Rutgers undergraduate students of all majors. Students who would like to participate in the course and organizations interested in becoming Raritan Scholars partners should contact Dr. Van Abs at firstname.lastname@example.org.