Former Mesalands student interning with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Staff Report

A former Mesalands Community College student is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a public safety intern at Conchas Lake for the summer.

Sandra Garrett’s four-month internship as an intern is through the Student Conservation Association.

Garrett will work with park rangers from the Corps of Engineers to promote water and boating safety at both the Conchas Lake State Park and the Santa Rosa Lake State Park.

“I really like the internship. It’s been really interesting and I’m getting a lot of experience,” Garrett said. “My main job is to promote public safety and specifically water safety. I give presentations on water safety and help with boat inspections. I also hand out a lot of water safety bags to children.”

As part of her internship responsibilities, last week Garrett gave a presentation on water safety at the Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum and Natural Sciences Laboratory, to parents and children involved in the Quay County Home Visiting Program.

According to their website, SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.

Garrett has done water safety presentations for Santa Rosa Elementary School, Tucumcari Elementary School, and the Turquoise Child Development Center in Tucumcari.

Garrett started attending Mesalands Community College in the fall semester of 2012. She participated in multiple undergraduate research projects at Mesalands, including water research projects at Conchas Dam, in collaboration with the engineers. She also presented the findings of the water research with Mesalands faculty members and fellow students at the following events: Community College Undergraduate Initiative Fall 2014 Colloquium in Charlotte, NC and the 2015 New Mexico Academy of Science Research Symposium in Albuquerque, NM.

“When I was a student at Mesalands we did water research and went to Conchas and took water samples with the Army Corps. So I had already been out there and been on a boat. I definitely think that was a good experience,” Garrett said. “It gave me a foot in the door when I applied for this internship. It looked really good on my resume.”

Garrett is attending Eastern New Mexico University majoring in graphic design. She plans to graduate in December.

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