Archive for July, 2013


You Get Out Of Camp What You Put Into It


Ryan Griffith Blog Pic

Ryan Griffith

Dublin, Ohio

Environmental Sciences


Jameson Ranch Camp is a home and refuge for staff, campers and everyone who has come in contact with the camp. It has made a meaningful difference in the lives of thousands of kids and adults over its 80 years (and counting) of operation. My role as the mountain biking and zip-line counselor this past summer was extremely rewarding. Working with a variety of age groups (the kids ranged from 6-16) presented challenges, but the highs much outweighed the lows. In addition to my role as an activity and sleeping area counselor, I was also put in charge of early morning garden duty, where I helped direct kids assigned to garden crew in daily duties of our half-acre organic garden. I also had the opportunity to help lead two groups of 16 year old counselors-in-training on backpacking and kayaking trips. I feel blessed that I got to experience the local culture of Bakersfield and Kernville, summit the area’s tallest peak 3 times (one of three on mountain bikes), be goofy, eat good food, garden, dance, sing, laugh, make new friends and hopefully make lasting impacts on the kids that taught me so much this summer.


My Early Field Experience!


Blake Spitznagel Blog

Blake Spitznagel

Mt. Orab, Ohio

Agricultural Communication


Two weeks is not enough time. I had the pleasure and honor of spending two weeks at Versailles High School with Mrs. Wuebker and the FFA students. Why, you may be asking yourself? I am currently a student here at Ohio State and am majoring in Agriscience Education. The purpose of this program is to help students gain knowledge and experience about what teaching career could be like in the future.

During my time at Versailles, I got to know and understand the “joys and discomforts” of being an agricultural educator. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed getting to know the program and the students. In addition, I was able to interview some of the other teachers and ask them about their experiences as a teacher. I really enjoyed the time I was able to spend at Versailles High School and may be getting another exciting opportunity to spend time with them soon! But for now OH!                                                  


My Summer in Search of Outfall Pipes and Bathing Beaches

Chloe Welch                                                                          

Akron, Ohio

Environmental Sciences


Chelsea inspecting and sampling a stormwater outfall inside of a culvert.

Chloe inspecting and sampling a stormwater outfall inside of a culvert.

This summer I am interning at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in Parma, Ohio, specifically in the Environmental Public Health Service area where I am part of both the stormwater and bathing beach programs. In the stormwater program, I work in the field sampling and inspecting stormwater outfalls around the county. In the bathing beach program, I sample water and inspect beaches on Lake Erie and inland lakes within the county.

I have learned a great deal through this internship. Water samples I obtained in the field are taken to a lab to be tested for levels of E. coli.  I also conduct inspections at each site, noting any issues with the outfall or beach.  In the stormwater program, this data can be used as evidence for the need to fix or replace malfunctioning septic systems or badly engineered outfalls that may be causing elevated bacteria levels. In the bathing beach program, this data is used either daily or weekly to offer swimming advisories to the public if the bacteria levels are too high.

I very much enjoy working daily outside in the field, and I love using the knowledge that I have obtained at OSU about water and the environment.


Locally Grown, Nationally Known

Melinda Lee

Cardington, Ohio

Animal Sciences

Melinda LeeIn early April of this year, myself and four other Alpha Zeta Partner members, Lauren Prettyman, Mara Gordon, Steph Verhoff and Drew Neilley, attended the National Agricultural Leadership Conference, held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. We had a great time getting to meet members from other chapters and learning about different events their chapters put on for their colleges. We got to attend different agricultural tours and professional development seminars. The tours that I attended allowed me to visit a sheep dairy and a traditional cow dairy with 2 robotic milking systems. We got the chance to listen to Chris Fesko, the keynote speaker. She owns her own Farm Discovery Center, where she teaches kids and adults about agriculture. It was a great experience to hear her story and how she shares agriculture as well as how we can all do the same in our own way. The professional development seminars we had the chance to attend included, Perfecting Your Resume and Cover Letters, an Officer Roundtable, and Recruitment and New Member Education, just to name a few. Each session that I attended, I felt, was very beneficial and I was able to take things back with me and hopefully begin to implement them in the upcoming school year.


Tomato Extravaganza

Tommy Haufe

Columbus, Ohio

Food Science and Technology

At the beginning of the past school year, I was given the opportunity to join Dr. Steve Schwartz’s lab Tommy Haufegroup as an undergraduate research assistant. Dr. Schwartz specializes in carotenoids, phytochemicals and functional foods related to chronic disease prevention. Carotenoid compounds are colored compounds found in many fruits and vegetables (for example, lycopene is the red compound which gives tomatoes their characteristic red color). The potential health benefits of eating carotenoid compounds are being researched by several of Dr. Schwartz’s students. A wide range of backgrounds can be found in his lab group, including: research scientists, research assistants, Ph. D students, M.S. students, and visiting scholars from across the world. Dr. Schwartz’s group works with other departments and colleges at Ohio State (including the College of Medicine) which allows for exciting collaborations and more effective research. After spending a few months around the lab, I was given a project: the objective was to purify several individual carotenoid compounds from a unique variety of orange tomatoes called “tangerine tomatoes” using analytical equipment including high performance liquid chromatography. I was able to present my research at several different research forums, including the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences undergraduate research forum, the university-wide Denman Undergraduate Forum and the Ohio Valley Institute of Food Technologists student research forum. In a relatively short time, I was able to gain invaluable experience in laboratory methods and I was able to better understand the flow of the research process. I am extremely thankful to Dr. Schwartz’s lab group for all their support and for allowing me to further my studies outside of the classroom.