The first cohort of 30 undergraduate summer interns began their research on Lake Champlain Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE) on Tuesday May 30th. Their internship began with a four-day orientation. The first day started with of an overview of the BREE project and an introduction to the different components: climate modelling, integrated assessment modeling, social sciences, ecology, and workforce development. After that, interns hiked Mt. Philo for their first introduction to the watershed.
The second day of the orientation consisted of an overview of watershed geomorphology with a streams table and a low ropes course team building exercise. The third day included a workshop on climate change and a tour of the St. Albans Bay watershed, one of the focal locations for BREE research. During the tour interns heard about some of the social implications of cyanobacterial blooms in the bay, how development affects streams, how farming practices and stormwater runoff affect phosphorus loading, and what steps are being taken to manage loading. Following a library session and final lunch on Friday, the interns headed to the campuses where they will be conducting their focused summer research.