Photo of Kathryn Rider holding a bucket of mulch at a nature preserve in Hawaii

Interested in urban environmental education, Katie Rider '19 unites studies in English, sociology and sustainability with an internship in Hawaii.

Internship bridges paradise with practical learning

July 31, 2017

Photo of Kathryn Rider holding a bucket of mulch at a nature preserve in Hawaii

The landscape is lush and untamed. The temperature ideal. Some might say Katie Rider '19 is interning in paradise.

But her eight-week internship in Hawaii isn’t about vacation or kitschy souvenirs. It’s about gaining valuable insights and real-world experiences she can apply to her career focus in urban environmental education. 

Photo of Kathryn Rider at nature preserve in HawaiiConnecting Youth to Nature

"I think there is a large disconnect between people who live in cities and the natural land that they depend on," she emphasized. "My goal is to connect urban youth to natural spaces in the hopes of instilling a sense of responsibility and respect towards the environment."

With a triple major of English, sociology and sustainability, Rider knows firsthand about the value of appreciating and protecting the land. Her home state of Montana is a naturist’s dream of wide-open spaces of wilderness, snow-capped mountains, lakes, nature preserves and more. 

Down to Earth Internship 

"I am currently working at Limahuli Garden and Preserve, which is a branch of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens," she explained about her internship. "The aim of the organization is to interpret and share the intersection between ecosystems and culture in Hawaii. This includes restoring and protecting natural habitats as well as the ancient traditions that were practiced in these habitats.

"I assist the education coordinator and the garden operations manager by leading educational groups in conservation work around the garden and the preserve. I help plan and organize conservation work appropriate for each age group and then lead members of the group to accomplish the work while still having fun," she added.