GEM Environmental is excited to welcome one of our new members to the team! Mariah McGhee is one of our Youth Conservation Interns working as a Maintenance Intern in cooperation with the BLM at the Phoenix District Office.
Mariah is from Kansas City, Missouri. She recently graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a BS in Natural Resource Management with an emphasis on Forestry and a minor in Soils. She is the oldest of 4 and grew up in the city! Mariah enjoys a variety of activities that require her to be outside. These activities are hiking, exploring new places, shopping for succulents, and believe it or not mowing the lawn (a Midwest task)! She also competes in Crossfit competitions and it is a big part of her life.
Mariah values STEM education for many reasons, but mostly because STEM is the future. STEM education allows us to make connections between the classroom and the world around us to implement stability in the economy and continue to allow for sustained growth. Welcome to the team Mariah!
How did you hear about this service opportunity?
I heard about GEM’s service opportunity by searching Arizona Environmental opportunities. Upon finding the opportunity with GEM, I was super pleased with the mission and vision of this organization and applied immediately.
Please provide a brief description highlighting your work/area of focus.
My area of focus currently is on the trees and soils of the Midwest. I have been fortunate to have been exposed to a various of different stands in Missouri that consisted of tree identification, invasive removal, soil testing, stand area data, forest management plans and tons of Excel data sheets!
What do you plan to accomplish during your service term with GEM?
My expectations involve being able to learn continuously. I would like to grow as a knowledgeable young scholar and professional while contributing meaningful work to an important organization. I know this internship will mold me into a successful Land Manager, while helping me better understand the industry, management practices, and the forest community. I believe working with GEM will allow me to positively impact the great outdoors while encouraging others from every background to learn better ways to care for our environment.
What are your career goals?
Being I have just graduated, my career goals temporarily include gaining experience and exposure to what I hope to one day permanently do which is to work in the field as a Forest Resource Manger and also be a face to help diversify Environmental Sciences all together. I hope to network with multiple different people and organizations that will help me continue to acquire knowledge and allow for hands-on experiences.
Do you plan to continue your education? If so, what programs or school are you looking into and what is the highest degree you plan to earn?
I do plan to further my education and go on to earn my masters degree. I plan to stay in Arizona and have considered making sure I am on the right track to be eligible to obtain my degree from Northern Arizona University.
Have you had any other internship or service opportunities before this? If so, how do you believe internships have benefited you so far?
In 2018, I worked as an intern with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri in St. Louis, Missouri. With this organization our work was heavily focused on the Urban Forestry side of Forestry. This opportunity helped me understand what a consistent workday is like, and also exposed me to many new environmental methods, tactics and people who have been the industry for years that were able to provide valuable information over a variety of things.
Anything else you'd like to share about your work, yourself, or the STEM fields?
I am pleased to have been chosen to be apart of this opportunity and very excited to meet others that share similar interests. I am also excited to work hard this summer on the tasks that are for us to complete, all while being in a different climate, topography and region!