Internship for Science-Practice Integration

The Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) undergraduate internship program bridges the world of scientific research and water management by placing students within agencies to carry out their own unique projects. While spanning the spheres of science and policy, students conduct use-inspired research that meet academic standards of professors as well as the practical needs of decision makers. Through the program, students learn about the concepts and practical aspects of boundary research — a term emphasizing linkages between research-based knowledge and decision-making needs. A list of internship hosts and project outcomes (i.e., research posters) are provided below.

DCDC’s one-semester internship program is available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Student interns in this program receive a stipend and are, in turn, expected to:

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  • work 10 hours per week on a project that their internship mentor has identified as relevant to their agency
  • develop an original research project that is inspired by insights that the students gain in their internship project, thus linking “science” and “practice”
  • participate in a weekly 3-credit hour class to learn how to design and implement an original research project while also building skills in data analysis, visual design, and written and oral communication
  • ensure academic rigor by teaming-up with faculty and receiving advice from professors and peers on individual research projects
  • present a poster highlighting research results and practical implications at DCDC’s culminating end-of-the-year annual poster session

DCDC offers the ISPI internship program each spring semester (January-May) in collaboration with Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability and Barrett, the Honors College. Research projects are tailored to the needs of the agency two months prior to the start of the internship. Student may receive internship credit through units including Sustainability, Geography, and Planning.

Agency hosts are encouraged to submit requests to set up an internship position. Both the agency host and DCDC staff are involved in interviewing and selecting students that best fit internship positions.

If you would like to host an internship student or would like additional information, please contact Katie Peige.

Katie Peige
Education and Community Outreach Coordinator, Decision Center for a Desert City
480-727-9262
Katie.Peige@asu.edu
Kelli Larson
Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Associate Professor, School of Sustainability
Associate Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Associate Director and Director of Education and Mentoring, Decision Center for a Desert City
kelli.larson@asu.edu

2015

lmarquez_ISPI_JessicaHoffmann_Apr2015

The Effect of Plant Composition on Water Use

  • Internship Fellow: Jessica Hoffmann, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Darren Sversvold, City of Phoenix
  • Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Wentz, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Landscape Variation within Arcadia Neighborhood: Contrasting Older and Newer Home Developments

  • Internship Fellow: Enrique Bojórquez, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Darren Sversvold, City of Phoenix
  • Faculty Mentor: Jason Kelley, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Understanding the Effects of Low Impact Development on the Energy Balance Within A Microclimate

  • Internship Fellow: Rachel Burnett, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Monica Rabb, City of Glendale
  • Faculty Mentor: Paul Westerhoff, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment

Connecting Community Values with Climate Change Adaptation Through a School Greening Project

  • Internship Fellow: Brandon Ruiz, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Summer Waters, Sonoran Institute
  • Faculty Mentor: Sharon Harlan, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Factors Affecting Water Use in Sparse Landscapes

  • Internship Fellow: Joseline Castañeda, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Darren Sversvold, City of Phoenix
  • Faculty Mentor: Ray Quay, Decision Center for a Desert City

Cost of Overseeding For a Single Family Home

  • Internship Fellow: Ashley Arens, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Richard Bond, City of Tempe
  • Faculty Mentor: Marcia Nation, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

Benefits of H/E Low-Flow Toilets

  • Internship Fellow: Evan Fairweather, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Richard Bond, City of Tempe
  • Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Mack, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Effects of Public Outreach Best Management Practices on High Water Use

  • Internship Fellow: Dylan Morse, School of Integrated Studies, Political Science [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Ruth Greenhouse, Arizona Department of Water Resources
  • Faculty Mentor: Erik Johnston, School of Public Affairs

Landslide Hazards in Metropolitan Phoenix

  • Internship Fellow: Ryan Cleary, Geology Sciences [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Brian Gootee, Arizona Geological Survey
  • Faculty Mentor: Ron Dorn, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

How can flood effects be best mitigated in the Southwest?

  • Internship Fellow: Michaela Jones, School of Sustainability and Barrett, The Honors College [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Summer Waters, Sonoran Institute
  • Faculty Mentor: Jose Lobo, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Local Rainfall Events and Outdoor Water Use in Gilbert

  • Internship Fellow: Natalie Melkonoff, School of Sustainability and Barrett, The Honors College [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Eric Braun, Town of Gilbert
  • Faculty Mentor: Enrique Vivoni, School of Earth and Space Exploration

Price Elasticity for Residential Water Demand in the City of Goodyear

  • Internship Fellow: Jeffrey Iles, Political Science and Public Health [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Mark Holmes, City of Goodyear
  • Faculty Mentor: Rimjhim Aggarwal, School of Sustainability

Effectiveness of “Fix-A-Leak-Week 2015” Direct Incentive Campaign on Residential Water Conservation Behavior in Goodyear Arizona

  • Internship Fellow: Allan Karim, Interdisciplinary Sciences, Sustainability and Urban Planning [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Mark Holmes, City of Goodyear
  • Faculty Mentor: Dave White, Decision Center for a Desert City

2014

Range of Vegetation Preferences in Historic Goodyear
  • Internship Fellow: Matthew Boylan, Herberger Institute [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Mark Holmes, City of Goodyear
  • Faculty Mentor: Ted Cook, The Design School

The Role of Legislators in Determining the Management of Arizona’s Water

  • Internship Fellow: Olivia Brancati, Barrett, The Honors College [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Jeffrey Kros, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association
  • Faculty Mentor: Erik Johnston, School of Public Affairs

Compare to Conserve: Residential Smart-Metering

  • Internship Fellow: Jon Brandau, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Mark Holmes, City of Goodyear
  • Faculty Mentor: Dave White, Decision Center for a Desert City

How is waste in the Salt River changing people’s perception?

  • Internship Fellow: William Carothers, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Cathy Wise, Audubon Arizona
  • Faculty Mentor: Dan Childers, School of Sustainability

A Current State Analysis of the Water Consumption Impact for Large Residential and Commercial Structures within the City of Tempe

  • Internship Fellow: Maximilian Christman, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Richard Bond, City of Tempe
  • Faculty Mentor: Kelli Larson, School of Sustainability

How Master Watershed Stewards Impact Their Community

  • Internship Fellow: Kiera Daley, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Summer Waters, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
  • Staff Mentor: Monica Elser, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

Watering Cost of Turf & Non-Turf Yards

  • Internship Fellow: Jessica Jia, Barrett, The Honors College [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Richard Bond, City of Tempe
  • Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Wentz, School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning

How much of the City of Goodyear is covered by trees?

  • Internship Fellow: Michaela Jones, Barrett, The Honors College [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Mark Holmes, City of Goodyear
  • Faculty Mentor: Charles Redman, School of Sustainability

Impacts of Foreclosure on Single Family Residential Landscapes

  • Internship Fellow: Ryan Stephenson, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Darren Sversvold, City of Phoenix
  • Faculty Mentor: Billie Turner, School of Sustainability

Calculating Gallons of Water Saved by Implementing Outdoor Low-Water Use Practices in Maricopa County

  • Internship Fellow: Amy Umaretiya, Environmental Engineering and Political Science [poster]
  • Internship Provider: Summer Waters, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
  • Faculty Mentor: Ray Quay, Decision Center for a Desert City
ISPI 2014

2013

Residential Landscaping Decisions and Water Usage in the City of Phoenix

  • Emily Allen, ISPI Intern with the City of Phoenix [poster]
  • Doug Frost, Mentor, City of Phoenix
  • Elizabeth Wentz, ASU Faculty Mentor

Analysis of Water Consumption Trends in the City of Goodyear

  • Christopher Berg, ISPI Intern with the City of Goodyear [poster]
  • Mark Holmes, Mentor, City of Goodyear
  • Ray Quay, ASU Faculty Mentor

Implementation of Low Impact Development Paving Strategies in Central Arizona

  • Erin Brechbiel, ISPI Intern with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension [poster]
  • Summer Waters, Mentor, U of A Cooperative Extension
  • Abigail York, ASU Faculty Mentor

Potential Attributes of Water Use Variation in Mixed Use Residential Landscapes

  • Joseph Hennessy, ISPI Intern with the City of Phoenix [poster]
  • Douglas Frost and Adam Miller, Mentors, City of Phoenix
  • Dave White, ASU Faculty Mentor

Modeling Well Specific Pumping at the Provider Level

  • Taylor Ketchum, ISPI Intern with Arizona Department of Water Resources [poster]
  • Dale Mason and Frank Corkhill, Mentors, Arizona Department of Water Resources
  • David Sampson, ASU Faculty Mentor

Criteria-Based Risk Assessment for Sustainable Water Quality in Municipal Wells

  • Samantha Kohlwey, ISPI Intern with the City of Mesa [poster]
  • Brian Draper and Colette Moore, Mentors, City of Mesa
  • Ray Quay, ASU Faculty Mentor

Complexities of Analyzing the Water/Energy Nexus in Small Hillside Water Distribution Systems

  • Winnie (Ching Yan) Lau, ISPI Intern with the City of Phoenix [poster]
  • Andy Terrey, Mentor, City of Phoenix
  • Benjamin Ruddell, ASU Faculty Mentor

Effective Engagements at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area

  • Martin Montes de Oca, ISPI Intern with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension [poster]
  • Summer Waters, Mentor, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
  • Monica Elser, ASU Faculty Mentor

Effectiveness of the Modified Field Trip Curriculum: Teaching the Importance of Good Conservation Habits

  • Andrew Wittig, ISPI Intern with Audubon Arizona [poster]
  • Lyana Guevara, Mentor, Audubon Arizona
  • Joni Adamson and Monica Elser, ASU Faculty Mentors
2013 ISPI Interns with Dave White and Sarah Jones
2013 ISPI Interns with Dave White and Sarah Jones

2012

How Do We Catalyze Adaptive and Innovative Practices in Public Regulatory Agencies?

  • McKenzie Ragan, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Michael J. Lacey, Internship Provider, Arizona Department of Water Resources
  • Dave D. White, Faculty Mentor, Decision Center for a Desert City

How Scenario Planning Will Benefit Scottsdale Water Resources’ Master Planning Process

  • Ariel Pepper, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Beth Miller, Internship Provider, City of Scottsdale
  • Ray Quay, Faculty Mentor, Decision Center for a Desert City

Prevalent Perceptions of Water Use in Arizona

  • Colin Russell, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Mark Holmes, Internship Provider, City of Mesa
  • Erik Johnston, Faculty Mentor, School of Public Affairs

What Factors Motivated the Creation of the Colorado and Kansas Water Congresses?

  • Kena Fedorschak, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Mark Holmes, Internship Provider, City of Mesa
  • Erik Johnston, Faculty Mentor, School of Public Affairs

The Relationship between Restaurants and Sustainability: Marketing the Tempe FOG Program

  • Michael Nicastro, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • David McNeil, Internship Provider, City of Tempe
  • George Basile, Faculty Mentor, School of Sustainability

Smartscape: Using Education as a Tool for Reducing Water in Desert Landscapes

  • Michael Alan Babcock, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Summer Waters and Haley Paul, Internship Provider, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
  • Kelli Larson, Faculty Mentor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School of Sustainability
Instructor, Katja Brundiers; 2012 ISPI Fellows: Michael Babcock, Michael Nicastro, Colin Russell, McKenzie Ragan, Kena Fedorschak, Ariel Pepper; Instructor, Dr. Peggy Nelson

2011

Our inaugural cohort of seven ISPI fellows came to us from a variety of academic programs.

Interstate Policies Impact Replenishment of Stream Flow with Effluent

  • Cherish Connolly, Internship Fellow, School of Life Sciences [poster]
  • Robert Marshall, Internship Provider, The Nature Conservancy

Cost Assessment of Groundwater Replenishment Obligations for the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District

  • Alexandria Detrio, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Bruce Hallin, Internship Provider, Salt River Project (SRP)

Measuring Participant Retention of Water Festival Informational Content

  • Jeffrey Jennings, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Nancy Crocker, Internship Provider, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Center

Reclaimed Water and the Role it plays in Mitigation of Surface/Ground Water Depletion.

  • Max Krzyzewski, Internship Fellow, Biology and Society [poster]
  • Charles Graf, R.G., Internship Provider, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

Climate Change and the Colorado River: Future Allotment Plans for Arizona

  • Courtney Lewis, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Tom Buschatzke, Internship Provider, City of Phoenix

Uncovering Barriers and Motivations in Groundwater Management Collaboration and GIS-Based Delineation of Prime Groundwater Recharge Areas in the East Salt River Sub-basin

  • Emily Allen, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability [poster]
  • Joshua Randall, Internship Fellow, School of Sustainability and School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning [poster]
  • Mark Holmes, P.G., Internship Provider, City of Mesa