May 27th marked the last meeting for the 2019-20 Skyline Earth Team year. The interns spent this final meeting reflecting on their favorite parts of the year, including getting the opportunity to make new friends and work on projects that make a difference for the environment and their community.
Skyline Earth Team cared most about working on impactful projects. They truly care about creating positive change. Throughout the year, the interns worked to restore local habitats, test soil and water quality, and educate their communities about waste and other environmental issues. Interns also learned more about themselves and the careers they may want to pursue in college by listening to guest speakers and touring local STEM facilities. Many interns also found a deeper connection with nature by going on a hike or participating in an Outdoor Adventure trip.
Throughout the year, the interns installed 136 native plants, removed 2,600 square feet of invasive species, spread 13,000 square feet of mulch and picked up 1,400 pieces of litter. They worked on-campus and at Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Demonstration Garden, Dimond Park, Lake Chabot, Lake Merritt, Oyster Bay, Don Castro Regional Recreation Area and MLK Shoreline.
Interns also conducted 12 soil and 93 water quality tests using GLOBE Hydrosphere and Pedosphere protocols. The interns used this data to research why toxic algae blooms in some water bodies and not others. They found that toxic algae blooms are related to high water temperature and nitrate level, a more basic pH and lower turbidity. The interns presented their findings at Earth Team’s virtual research presentations.
Education and community outreach was also largely emphasized this year. The first project was educating their peers in Skyline High’s 70 Hall. Interns produced 3 posters that discussed marine debris, air pollution and coral bleaching. Skyline interns had also planned a community outreach event at Dimond Park to educate their community about the impacts of dog waste on the local watershed. However, covid-19 forced the cancellation of this event.
Instead, interns shifted to virtual outreach. They ran a social media campaign where they posted informative posts about waste education and encouraged others to reduce their waste on Earth Team’s Facebook and Instagram. They reached an average of 85 unique individuals based on the average Instagram story views and received 1,260 Instagram story views in total. Their hard work resulted in Skyline Earth Team taking home 2nd place in SEI’s Energize Schools Campaign Competition, winning $500! Interns also created the Trash Sorter game, which has currently been viewed 63 times.
Earth Team also focuses on intern professional development. This year, interns toured AllPower Labs and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to learn about different careers in STEM. They also heard from 3 guest speakers and interviewed 4 young professionals to further explore different career paths and learn about life in college. Interns also developed their interview skills by participating in mock interviews and developing their change maker statements.
Finally, interns strengthened their connection with nature. Last fall, interns hiked Joaquin Miller Park. They learned about the Coast Redwoods and how to estimate tree height without equipment. Many interns also went on an Outdoor Adventure Trip to Mt Tam, Sonoma Coast or Snowshoeing. Unfortunatly, the other Outdoor Adventure Trips were cancelled.
Thank you to all the project partners and guest speakers that made this year so successful! And a special thank you to all of the Skyline Earth Team interns for all of your hard work. Congratulations to the graduating seniors and we hope to see the rest of you again next year!