My name is Emma Etheridge and I am a rising junior at Duke University in North Carolina, but am originally from Portland, Oregon. It’s great being back in such a beautiful city and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to intern with SOLVE for the next two months! I am volunteering through a program that Duke offers called DukeEngage. DukeEngage takes place in various cities all over the world and participating students do many types of volunteering; the Portland program has an environmental and sustainability emphasis. I am majoring in economics and psychology, but am very interested in sustainability which is what drew me to the Portland program to begin with. In my spare time I like to hike, run, read, and dance.
Hi! My name is Caroline Lehman and I’m a sophomore at Duke University. I’m so excited to be working with Emma at SOLVE this summer. At Duke, I’m majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering and am eager to learn more about sustainability and the environment. I’m from Southern California and love exploring everything it has to offer–from kayaking in the ocean to hiking up to the Hollywood sign. I love staying active by playing basketball, tennis, and running.
In our first two days at SOLVE we’ve been given a tour of the office and met many coworkers who are eager to teach and very positive thinkers. We’ve been working with Charlie and Gina at a site in Johnson Creek and in the forest behind Valley Catholic High School. Today was especially exciting! We learned how to identify many native and invasive plants and had training on how to monitor sites like the one near Valley Catholic High School. We loved being outside all day, and luckily the Portland rain held off the entire time we were outside. The most exciting part of our work today was running across a Red Eared Slider in the middle of the trail! Red Eared Sliders are an invasive species from the eastern U.S. that grow to be a lot bigger than our native turtles. This particular turtle was about the size of a dinner plate and was pretty cute. Even so, it was our job to remove him from the site because invasive species like the Red Eared Slider compete with native turtles for food and habitat. For most of the next two months, we will be working closely with Charlie and Gina on monitoring sites on both the East and West sides of the river. We will also be collecting a sample microinvertebrate kit to help with future green team projects and creating a water threshold model for educational demonstrations. We’re thrilled to be working outdoors this summer with such great people and to make a positive environmental impact!