Coastkeeper's Environmental Internship Program Got Me a Job

I have the honor of working with dozens of interns every year, who come to San Diego Coastkeeper to learn about what we do and dig in to help us make the magic happen. I say it’s an honor because I enjoy watching these young folks learn as they realize the gamut of environmental careers available to them in San Diego and across the nation. Every so often, a former intern will share his/her story with us and remind me how important these internships are for Coastkeeper’s work and also our future workforce. This story below is from Aydin Muzaini, whose internship at Coastkeeper directly influenced his employer’s choice to hire him.

Hi Travis –

environmental internshipI wanted to thank you and Mallory again for inviting me to help at the lab for the last two years. I was picked to do similar work on a project here at University of Miami, called the Net Zero Dorm Project, and I am doing much of the same sampling and testing as in San Diego.

I started volunteering with the San Diego Coastkeeper in 2011 collecting, testing and logging in water samples at the San Dieguito lagoon. With the direction of San Dieguito River Park Rangers Natalie Borchardt and Dante Lee, we collected monthly water samples from two different locations at the lagoon, where we made notes of the overall conditions. Later in the year I began working in your lab, testing water samples collected from the many sites across the county that other volunteers brought in. This experience taught me a lot. I learned how to take water samples, work with chemicals and conduct tests for bacteria. I use this same knowledge today at my position working with the Net Zero Dorm Project at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. I was immediately offered a position to work on this project as a transfer student to UM solely because of my hands-on experience from working with you at the Coastkeeper lab. What I do now at the UM Net Zero Dorm Project is very similar to Coastkeeper. The general work involves retrieving water samples from a treated wastewater tank and an underground cistern on a daily basis. I then submit these samples to the lab team for microbio testing. The status of the overall project, the shifts in bacteria levels, and the efficiency of the system are discussed weekly at the project team meetings.

Best to everyone,
Aydin Muzaini

Best to you, too, Aydin. Thanks for all your help and congratulations on your job.