Hi, my name is Nora Graham, and this is my last blog post for the summer. As my time interning at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center with OSU comes close to its conclusion, I thought I would share what a routine week looks like for me during my entomology internship.

I’m currently splitting my time between two researchers’ projects, and so on Mondays and Fridays I look for corn earworm larvae and eggs on hemp plants in Jackson County, as well as working towards my presentation and research paper I’ll be submitting for a separate OSU internship.

A person is standing in a field of tall hemp plants.
Nora Graham inspects hemp for corn earworm eggs.

On Tuesdays through Thursdays, I help with a wide variety of entomology tasks for pear and grape crops. Some of these weekly tasks include looking for treehoppers on grapevines that could potentially carry grapevine red blotch virus. We check coddling moth traps put up in pear orchards and count the number of male and female moths. We also collect and transfer earwigs from a peach orchard and put them in a pear orchard to see if they can act as a predator for pear psylla and two-spotted spider mites since they’re not able to do damage to pear crops.

It has been an incredible experience getting to work on so many diverse entomology projects. I had the opportunity to see how different orchards and vineyards operate, as well as getting to interact with a lot of knowledgeable people.

 

Hi! My name is Anna Ehlers and I’m an OSU Extension summer intern at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC) in Jackson County. I am an Oregon State University student majoring in horticulture with a minor in biological data science. I am working with my supervisor Lena Hosking, 4-H program coordinator in Jackson County.  

A woman sits cross legged on the floor in front of a horticulture display
Anna Ehlers with her 4-H horticulture display and materials.

I am finishing up my last week at my internship and things have been less chaotic since we finished working at the fair.  

Lately I have been working on a horticulture curriculum for future 4-H camps or day projects. I have found many fun example curricula online and in our project books. Not only am I searching for projects, but I am also editing and revising them to better fit our desired curriculum. Our curriculum has a set of learning objectives that should be incorporated into each project, so revising the projects to improve teaching methods are needed.  

In addition to searching for projects, I have to test them out. By testing the projects, I can improve them to make instructions clearer for students or instructors reading through the curriculum. I can identify issues or miscommunication found in the instructions and modify them. This can clear up any confusion before the projects have begun. We also identify the learning outcomes, so the students have a takeaway after participating in a project. This helps us create a quality curriculum.  

I have found so many things that students of any age can enjoy. My focus is horticulture so I found many gardening, growing and observational horticulture projects that can be educational and fun. There are projects that work better for different ages, so I have some projects that can be easily adjusted. The projects I have modified include pressed flowers, paper making, and seed germination.  

Since many projects include crafts, I created multiple examples for a number of projects. My favorite project I worked on was pressing flowers. In the gardens surrounding the office there are many, many flowers that can be pressed. In front of the plants there are signs labeled with the scientific name and common name. After pressing the flowers for many days, I would write down the scientific name and common name then use Mod Podge to glue the flower onto a piece of cardstock. This would allow the flower to be preserved along with its name, and allows the students to learn that flowers and other plants can have more than one name so that identification can be easier.  

For my seed germination project, I grew different types of beans to see how they grew. The different beans allow for students to track different growth patterns between the different species. To develop scientific inquiry, there are many possible things to experiment with. Learning about a control group and an experimental group can show how you can compare and contrast regarding the different experiments. By using observational skills, students can learn how to identify and describe changes noticed in the real world.  

A woman looks across black and yellow flowers at a site to the right of the camera

I’m glad I had the opportunity to work behind the scenes to understand how much work goes into every project and event that takes place. It takes many people many hours to make our events go well. This is especially true for planning the county fair and a summer 4-H camp.  

I’ve learned to appreciate the work that is involved in preparing curriculum and revising projects that will be used in the future. There is always more work to do, and more things to revise, but it all works out in the end. I was able to work on many projects independently, which allowed me to work on my creativity not only with my curricula projects but also with marketing.  

I had a wonderful time working with 4-H over the summer. I have learned so much during my 10-week internship and I would like to thank Lena for being a great mentor by teaching me so much about 4-H and about OSU extension in general. I would also like to thank my co-worker Steven McIntyre for assisting me with my various projects.

A young boy holding a small LEGO robot he made at 4-h camp.
A youth with his robot creation at 4-H LEGO camp.

Hello everyone! This is Alyson Yates, checking in with an update from Lake County. I am just entering the eighth week of my internship, and my experience with the Extension program so far has been very fulfilling. While I have learned about many different areas within OSU Extension in Lake County, my primary focus has been working with local youth in a few different programs.     

I began my internship by assisting with Lake County 4-H LEGO Camp, a four-day event intended to teach elementary-age youth about robotics, basic programming, and inspire creativity and interest in STEM. Each day, I guided our youth attendees through the construction of several robots and taught them how to add basic programming through an app.  This was a great way to start my internship experience, as I got to work with youth in a fun, educational environment and connect with a group of older youth leaders in 4-H.  I was also able to begin accomplishing one of my goals for this internship, which is to update our county office’s photo database with new, high-quality photographs of our 4-H events.   

During the last week of July, I assisted with the planning and execution of the first annual Lake County Youth Summit.  Lake County Extension collaborated with Lake District Health, the Lake County Youth Mentor Program, and several other groups to create a summer day camp made up of workshops, activities, and games to help youth improve their leadership skills. Although plans for the event had to be adjusted due to the extreme fire danger in southern Oregon, we were able to organize a successful and fun event for the youth that attended. Activities were focused on helping youth recognize their values, understand their self-worth, persevere through their struggles, and learn how to be a positive influence within their community.   

A class of 2nd grade youth at Fremont Elementary summer school holding their self-portraits made from construction paper.
A class of 2nd-grade youth at Fremont Elementary summer school with their “Picasso” self-portraits, made from construction paper.

I am currently in the midst of my internship project, which is structured around leading arts and crafts classes for the Fremont Elementary Summer School program. I have a few more classes to teach before my project comes to an end, but this has been a great opportunity for me to gain experience working with K-2 grade youth in a classroom environment. Art-based programming is very important to me, and I hope that projects like this will help engage our local youth in the arts and inspire them to participate in similar activities in the future! 

As I begin to launch into preparation for the Lake County Fair, I feel very excited to be involved in this program from a different perspective. Throughout my years as a 4-H member, the county fair was always the best week of the summer, and I am so thrilled to be a part of this 4-H tradition as a part of the Extension team!  It means so much to me that I am directly impacting the experiences of youth in my county, and I am looking forward to the last few weeks of my internship. 

Hello everyone! My name is Brady Monteith, and I’m a sophomore at the University of Arizona, studying nutrition and food systems. Although I go to school Arizona, I grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I’m back home for the summer, so I’m interning with the OSU Extension office in Klamath County. Klamath is a very ag-centric community, so I’ve grown up surrounded by agriculture. My family owns and operates a commercial farm, and my first job was to drive tractor and rake hay, so I’ve always felt quite connected to that side of the food system. 

During my internship I will be working under the supervision of Patty Case. My goal through this internship will be to better understand the Klamath food systems and the many people who play many diverse roles in it. I will be doing this through a few different projects. The main project I will be working on will be Extension’s role at the local farmers market. We will be working with the market director to provide nutrition education and help people to use their SNAP-Ed benefits to purchase local produce. I will also be assisting Extension Master Gardeners in their role at the farmers market. In addition to these projects, I will be assisting with the Cooking Matters program, to further expand on the nutrition education side of things. 

Before starting this internship, I really didn’t know much about OSU Extension. I had heard of Master Gardeners, but only knew that some people used them to test their soil. I came into the internship with pretty much no knowledge of what I would end up doing. However, the wonder people at Extension were quick to help get me oriented and have given me every tool I need to be successful.