Service-Learning Internship: The Satilla Riverkeeper
Author: John Blount
Faculty Supervisor: C. Tate Holbrook, Ph.D.
From May through mid-July 2016 I was granted an internship with the Satilla Riverkeeper in Woodbine, GA. The non-profit organization keeps a watchful eye on the Satilla River and its nearly 4,000 square mile watershed. The scenic river serves the citizens of southeast Georgia largely in agricultural and recreational capacities. It is also vital to countless animal and plant species being both a black-water and estuary river. Such an expansive and multifaceted river demands a lot from the Satilla Riverkeeper. My chief responsibility was field testing water from the river and its tributaries for quality. I employed the techniques and equipment prescribed by the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program. In addition to my chemical and quality certification, I also earned a certification for bacterial detection. The Riverkeeper utilizes bacterial screening for E.coli at selected sites. I also gained experience by assisting with two wildlife surveys, participating in an educational, public service project, and observing a legal case involving the adjacent Altamaha River. My internship gave me experience with field science, broadened my horizons, and increased my appreciation for both non-profit organizations and estuary ecosystems.