Duke Engage Interns Join SOLVE for the Summer

written by Julie Rohde and Mathias Skadow

The Program:

Duke Engage is an immersive service program that sends nearly 425 students to domestic and international locations every summer. Each of the nine Duke students participating in the Portland program is placed with community partners who value environmentalism and sustainability. If you would like to read more about our community partner placements and service experience throughout the summer, please visit our Duke Engage Portland blog. http://sites.duke.edu/dukeengagepdx2013/

The People:


Hey SOLVE community, my name is Julie and I am super excited to be joining this amazing non-profit for the summer. At Duke I am pursuing a major in Environmental Science and Policy with a minor in Political Science. I am participating in the Duke Engage program because it will provide me with valuable field experience in environmentalism and broaden my perspective of environmental advocacy.

For the past two weeks at SOLVE, I’ve enjoyed visiting some of the vegetation planting sites that Green Team students and volunteers have worked on throughout the planting season. My knowledge of native plant species and the terrible invasive species has expanded to the point where I can walk down a trail and point out the different species to my fellow Duke Engage friends. I still have some trouble identifying the younger plants but as each day passes I am becoming more confident with my abilities. In the next six weeks before I return back to Duke I hope to spread SOLVE’s mission to more of the Portland community. Lastly, I look forward to learning about environmental stewardship from the experienced and passionate staff here at SOLVE.


Hi, my name is Mathias, and I am excited to join the SOLVE Green Team program for the summer. I am a rising Junior at Duke majoring in Biology. I came to Portland wanting to make a lasting impact on the local environment, and to learn about the environmental work that is being done here. At SOLVE, I am getting a chance to do just that by helping restore wetlands and streams throughout the area. In our first week, we have monitored vegetation plots at various work sites to get a representative sample of the health of our native plants, removed invasive species, and learned how to lead volunteers through a restoration project. I am eager to see what the rest of the summer will bring, and I am optimistic about the environmental changes I can elicit while working with SOLVE.

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