In 2010, the OASLC partnered with Professor Kent Miller at Central Michigan University on his newly established internship program with the National Park Service in Alaska. Professor Miller, an associate professor in photojournalism at Central Michigan University and trained photojournalist, first volunteered in 2008 for Denali National Park and Preserve. During his visit, he shot more than 14,000 images and gave park officials a large collection of images that NPS staff use in their online and print media. Learn more about him and his photography work in Alaskan parks here.
After his first whirlwind tour at Denali, he was invited to travel to other parks around Alaska to gather images for the other parks in the state. It was during his trip at Kenai Fjords National Park where he met the education coordinator for the OASLC, and a partnership was born. Kent Miller's internship program sends talented Student Conservation Associate media interns, who are majoring in photojournalism at Central Michigan University, to both the OASLC and Denali National Park and Preserve. Not only do the media interns work here at the OASLC, they are also placed in parks throughout the Alaska region. This page highlights our amazing interns and provides links to some of their projects they accomplished while at the OASLC.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Chelsea Grobelny began her senior year in Photojournalism with Central Michigan University as a media intern for OASLC. During her summer internship she documented landscapes, animals, and people who care both about the park and teaching others of its importance. Her primary assignment was creating video and stills of OASLC's first Floating Teacher Workshop, where educators got hands on experience in the field with scientists. She also worked on a marine debris trip and various day trips. Overall, she feels that this adventure was absolutely amazing and showed her the importance of science and the natural world.
Kenai Fjords National ParkMonica Bradburn is a Central Michigan University undergraduate student majoring in Photojournalism. Monica's passion lies with sports photography but this summer she expanded her horizons as an OASLC media intern. Monica worked in both Kenai Fjords and Katmai national parks documenting scientists, wildlife, and landscapes through photography and video. Her main assignment was finishing up documentation of the Changing Tides Project through videos and photos which included the collaring of brown bears and scientific observations in Katmai National Park. She also worked on completing a video focusing on the Coho Salmon in the Resurrection River. This summer experience was a trip of a lifetime for her.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical ParkShay Spatz worked as the OASLC-sponsored media intern for Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park during the summer of 2017. While there, Shay completed a Eulachon Study video and a Boreal Toad video. She also worked with park resource staff to create a Museum Artifact Spotlight video. This video highlights the overlap between the area's tourism culture and the natural world.
When not developing videos, Shay served as the park's photographer, documenting park activities from special events, to education events, resource studies and a building restoration project. Shay also developed several media promotions such as a Junior Ranger Day poster, marketing for building tours, and special event flyers. She participated in two park takeovers of the Department of the Interior’s SnapChat social media account.
About her internship, Shay states, "In addition to media communication, I hold a passion for topics in environmental sciences. My internship this summer with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park has given me an opportunity to combine both of these career interests; to bridge the gap between media and the natural world.
"This internship helped me gain a unique experience by connecting the park’s scientific research to its online community. In addition to working within an unexplored field, I had an amazing time being the media intern for Klondike Goldrush NHP."
Kenai Fjords National ParkAnne Langan is a Central Michigan University alumni with a major in photojournalism. She traveled to Seward, Alaska in the summer of 2016 as the media intern for Kenai Fjords National Park and the Ocean Alaska Science and Learning Center.
Working for the OASLC gave Anne new insights into how to help protect wildlife and the environment, from both the people she worked with and the hands-on work she did in the field. Anne helped other National Park Service staff collect and record data for marine debris studies. She spent a week in Lake Clark National Park documenting the scientific efforts behind the Changing Tides project.
Anne created and participated in work she was passionate about. She also shared the stories of others while deepening her strong respect for the natural world around her and the wildlife that inhabits it.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical ParkSarah Muether is a Central Michigan University alumni with a degree in photojournalism. In the summer of 2016 she served as the OASLC photographer and videographer at Klondike Gold Rush NHP. During her internship she produced several videos, including a short teaser on Jeff Smith's Parlor, a video recapping BioBlitz, and a documentary on Company L. She also created two birthday commercials in celebration of the NPS Centennial.
One of her most profound memories of her internship was a hike on the Chilkoot Trail with park archaeologists to research the condition of ice in the park. Her eyes were opened to real-life impacts of climate change when they discovered that much of the ice previously documented was completely gone. One of her favorite tasks was staffing the Junior Ranger Center. She loved teaching kids about the park and presenting them with Junior Ranger Badges after they completed the program. Sarah particularly enjoyed swearing in a very excited 93-year-old woman as a Junior Ranger. When not working, she spent much of her time hiking the park trails. She remains passionate about hiking today, finding that it brings a valuable sense of peace to her life.
Before her internship Sarah had no idea what she wanted to do with her degree. After her internship at Klondike Gold Rush NHP, however, Sarah has very specific goals – to pursue a career in the National Park Service.
Katmai National Park and Preserve & Kenai Fjords National Park
Kaiti Chritz is a Central Michigan University undergraduate student majoring in biology and photojournalism. Her love and curiosity of the earth's wildlife and ecosystems quickly fueled a passion to share their stories and the stories of the people who have dedicated their lives to learning about and protecting these ecosystems. As an OASLC media intern, Kaiti worked in both Kenai Fjords and Katmai National Parks and the Alaskan Sea Life Center documenting scientists, wildlife, and landscapes through photography and video. Her main assignment was sharing the Changing Tides Project through short videos, which included the collaring of brown bears and scientific observations in Katmai National Park. She blogged about her adventures, entitled Through the Lens: A Photojournalist and the Changing Tides Project, Part 1 and Part 2. In the future, she hopes to continue sharing the stories science has to offer through photography and filmmaking.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
In the classroom at Central Michigan University, Shannon Millard was able to harvest her love for documentary photography. Her internship at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Skagway taught her to slow down and document the quieter moments in life. Her main assignment as a media intern was to hike the Chilkoot Trail, a 33-mile trail that starts in Dyea, AK and ends in Bennett, British Columbia. Shannon documented the trail over five days with the park's archeology team and SCA interns, where she photographed the landscape and the artifacts. She also created a video that promotes and highlights how tourists can find their park (#findyourpark), documented the park's historical buildings and summer events through photography, and contributed to the park's Facebook page. Shannon never envisioned herself photographing changing tides, brother bears, or mountain landscapes but this experience has resulted in a stronger love for photojournalism and she cannot wait to continue documenting our beautiful and diverse world.
Kenai Fjords National Park
As a photojournalism and anthropology double major at Central Michigan University, the SCA internship at Kenai Fjords National Park was a dream come true for Katie Thoresen. It gave her an opportunity to hone her photography skills while experiencing a deeper love of nature. Katie's internship had two main focuses. She went out on weekly boat trips into the fjords to document wildlife and to help an Alaska SeaLife Center researcher count harbor seals. Katie also continued past interns' work of creating park profiles on the diverse employees of Kenai Fjords National Park. The highlight of her time spent at the park was going out on the M/V Serac for nearly a week collecting B-roll of wildlife, calving glaciers, and employees working in the park. Katie's time at the park deepened her love of the environment and inspired her to use media as a tool to connect people to nature. Since then, Katie completed another media internship at Denali National Park and Preserve, and is currently a reporter at an NBC affiliate television station in northern Wisconsin.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Kay White, a Central Michigan University alumni, was an intern for the 2012 summer season at Kenai Fjords National Park. Kay came to Kenai Fjords National Park to fulfill her dreams of being a wildlife photographer. While at the park, Kay gained a new-found respect for nature, wildlife, and our National Parks. From hiking the Harding Icefield Trail with naturalists to taking glacier boat tours or gathering data on a Steller sea lion's diet, Kay learned there was much to explore. She spent time with researchers studying Black Oystercatcher nesting habits, photographed humpback whales cooperatively feeding, observed newborn harbor seal pups, and had her eyes opened to many new experiences. She dreams about the day she can return to experience more of Alaska's wonders! Since serving as an intern at the OASLC, Kay has worked as a television news reporter and a radio host. She took what she learned from a photographer's standpoint to her everyday work life, capturing important events and creating engaging visual stores for all to enjoy.
Kenai Fjords National Park
For Central Michigan University alumna Paige Calamari, photographing Kenai Fjords National Park during the summer of 2011 had a profound effect on her life.While in Kenai Fjords National Park, Paige created Park Profiles highlighting the work of National Park employees. Whether working with the visitor and resource protection unit in the backcountry or hiking to Exit Glacier with the environmental protection specialist, Paige saw the land, mountains, and ocean in a new way. In addition to photographing park employees and visitors, Paige also spent time documenting and writing about the work of the nearshore monitoring team as well as researchers studying the englacial drainage system of Exit Glacier. The opportunity to capture the wonder and solitude of Alaska continues to motivate Paige to connect people with their environment through photography.
Last updated: August 23, 2018