June 23, 2014

Intern Profile: Kelsey Kahn ’15

Meet Kelsey Kahn ’15, a environmental studies major and intern at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Oregon Water Science Center.

Kelsey Kahn ’15

Major: Environmental studies
Hometown: Fair Lawn, New Jersey 

Can you tell us what you’re doing this summer? What are your basic duties as an intern?

I am working for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) at the Oregon Water Science Center as a communications intern and field assistant. My primary product for the summer will be a video exploring the decommissioning of hydroelectric dams in Oregon and what happens to the sediment buildup behind the dam walls when they are deconstructed. I also assist researchers with field and lab work.  

How has Lewis & Clark supported you in the process of finding, securing, and funding your internship?

Lewis & Clark has been extremely supportive in all aspects of securing this internship. I got in contact with USGS through a friend’s dad, but once I decided that I was interested in working at the Oregon Water Science Center, the Career Development Center helped me craft a resume and cover letter, and professors told me about funding opportunities like the Miller award. 

How do you see this internship leading to a career in your chosen field and aiding in your overall career development?

This internship is giving me the opportunity to see if I want to pursue a career as a USGS hydrologist. It has been really eye-opening to be a temporary employee of the federal government and has helped me understand the benefits and drawbacks of a government-funded science career. By the end of the summer, I hope to have a much better idea of where I’m heading next. 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your experience thus far?

It’s great to be funded by a Miller award instead of being paid by the USGS because I have flexibility to try out different positions in the organization and focus on projects that I am really interested in instead of doing less fulfilling work that “needs to get done.”

The purpose of the Miller Summer Internship Award is to underwrite or supplement expenses of students at Lewis & Clark College who are engaged in scientific research internships in the mathematical and natural sciences. This opportunity is made possible by a generous grant from the Miller Foundation. 

Career Development Environmental Studies