Travis Yandow ’17 of Franklin, Vt., chose to major in environmental science because of his passion for the great outdoors. This summer, he completed an internship as an environmental monitor for BSC Group, which gave him the opportunity to enjoy nature while working to keep it unpolluted.
BSC Group is an engineering firm based in Boston whose services include engineering and surveying, landscape architecture, transportation, ecological services and planning. Yandow’s task was to oversee a construction site in Lebanon, N.H., that was close to wetlands and make sure the construction crew complied with the government’s environmental regulations. It was his responsibility to identify and report any issues, which gave him valuable experience as an authority figure.
“Compared with my past employment, this position involved the most training and was the most relatable to my education by far,” Yandow said. Internships are opportunities for students to move their studies from the classroom to the real world, and Yandow found this was certainly the case. “As part of my education at Colby-Sawyer, I learned about the importance of wetlands and how to delineate and identify them,” he said, adding that wetlands are a vital aspect of our environment that provide habitat for plants and animals, naturally filter groundwater and help protect communities from floods.
“It was out in the field, so it was work I could relate to,” Yandow said. While much of his time was spent checking the work area for potential environmental threats, he also wrote specific and detailed reports about what he saw, a process which he described as the most difficult part of his internship. “There’s a lot of lingo,” he noted, acknowledging that most jobs have similarly career-specific vocabulary. Yandow had already developed some of the vernacular in the classroom, but he found the experience in the field was necessary for him to nail down the specifics.
His internship wasn’t all about rules and regulations, though. “One day I stood about fifteen feet away from a fawn,” Yandow said. His internship allowed him to experience nature as he worked to keep it safe. The peaceful greenery of New England is Yandow’s home, and he is determined to do what he can to protect it.