Presenting our WELCOME Interns’ research projects!

It has been a truly humbling experience to watch our WELCOME interns develop their skills as educators, researchers, and land stewards this spring. WELCOME (Wisconsin Educational Leadership for Community Outreach and Mentoring for the Environment) is a collaboration between Welty, School District of Beloit, Beloit College, UW-Madison Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, and Achieving Collaborative Treatment with a National Science Foundation grant to foster citizen science in intermediate and high schools with protocols developed by GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment).

This grant supported three Beloit Memorial High School seniors  (Bennett Donovan, Liam Flanagan, and Raven Regenold) in a semester-long research project on a topic of their choosing. They completed their projects with excellence and so much more! During that time, they worked alongside Welty staff in constructing the self-guided maple sugar hike, leading 3rd grade maple sugar field trips, supporting our  our 1st grade field trip for the SDB, eradicating invasive species at the Big Hill entrance, organizing the center’s egg collection, preparing materials for our first field trips with The Lincoln Academy, and participating in citizen science around the park.

2022 WELCOME interns (left to right): Bennett Donovan, Liam Flanagan, and Raven Regenold   

We are so grateful for the hard work they put into their internships…

Below are details regarding how to view their research presentations along with some of their thoughts about their internship experience at Welty. We are so grateful for the hard work they have put into their internships over the last semester, and we can’t wait to see what they do next! 

Bennett Donovan

What most surprised you during this internship?

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed teaching on the field trips. It was really fun to interact with the kids and see them get excited about the same stuff I got excited about when I was a kid doing the trip. I didn’t think I’d enjoy teaching as much as I did. At first, I was kind of nervous to do it.

What is the title of your research?

Change in soil temperature at different elevations in Big Hill Park

View Bennett’s poster here and watch his presentation here.

…and we can’t wait to see what they do next!

Liam Flanagan

Over the duration of your internship, what did you learn about environmental education?

To have confidence in myself and what I was teaching to the kids. As I did more and more field trips, I noticed I felt more comfortable speaking in front of the groups of kids and teachers as time went on.

What is the title of your research?

The soil particle sizes of the forest and prairie habitats at Big Hill Park

View Liam’s poster here and watch his presentation here.

Raven Regenold

What components of your internship experience are likely to help you in your future endeavors?

The GLOBE project will definitely help me because I am going to study Biology and Animal Science, so I will be able to create and present my experiments with firsthand knowledge of how to create, devise, and present an experiment. Leading the field trips will also help me if I decide to teach students about my work. I will know what to do when something doesn’t go how I have planned it, and I can adapt quickly to change. 

What is the title of your research?

Macroinvertebrate communities in different nitrate levels across the Rock River Watershed

View Raven’s poster here and watch her presentation here.

Darien Becker
Environmental Educator, WEC