Saturday, September 20, 2014


Sustainable Living Student Interns at Rodale Institute
Sustainable Living Major Zach DeanSustainable Living major Zach Dean spent part of the summer as an intern at the Rodale Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach.  Here is a brief sample from Zach's blog, detailing a day in the life of a busy Rodale intern... 

"First thing Thursday morning we flipped all three compost piles, which was easily done with 8+ people taking turns helping out with all the piles. After that Scott and I headed over to a plot that was originally meant to be part of the Right Size Garden project but has since been allocated to Elaine’s desire to experiment with local under story plants. Her hope is to see which ones do the best and put together seed packets for farmers and the like to use as they desire. Lindsey brought us a huge container of water with the riding mower and we watered all the under story plants, which didn’t take long at all. Once that was done I headed over to the microscope lab to look at samples, which I did until lunch and picked it back up again after lunch until 3pm. 

Around 3:00 Elaine taught a class on how to run a potential microscope business: what to charge per sample, how to set up the processing forms, and how to cater your interpretations of your findings to meet what the client is trying to grow. It was a good bit of information to take in, although honestly I didn’t get it all down. "  What a day! 

The Sustainable Living Department and Rodale Institute enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship.  Chief Rodale scientist Dr. Elaine Ingham visits MUM for one month each year to teach her Living Soil course and in return the Sustainable Living Department offers a pool of internship candidates for Rodale choose from, as well as eager new soil scientists who are ready to spread the word about Dr. Ingham's "beyond organic" approach to agriculture.

Sustainable Living majors are eligible to apply for a month long, experience packed internship at  Rodale Institute after completing the course work for the Applied Soil Technology track.  These courses include: Living Systems, Ecology, and Plant Biology, which must be completed before entry to the final course, Living Soil, taught by Rodale Institute chief scientist and Sustainable Living adjunct faculty member Dr. Elaine Ingham.


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