Muddy Branch Summer Interns Making Waves!

Monday, July 9, 2012 - 11:47pm

Amanda Trittinger, Cally Deppen, Mark Adams and Nicole Condon are the first 2012 Muddy Branch summer interns. This summer they will develop the Muddy Branch Alliance Tree Initiative and improve our water monitoring program. The goal of the tree initiative project is to develop and implement a process for residential homeowners to plant native trees that are beneficial to the watershed. Muddy Branch Alliance aims to plant a minimum of 10 trees by fall 2012.  The goal of the stream monitoring is to test for bacteria that may be dangerous to anyone using the stream for wading or swimming.

Where did they come from?

Amanda Tritinger attends University of Central Florida, where she studies environmental and civil engineering. She is currently working with Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth (READY), a program funded by Howard County and administered by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to install rain gardens in Howard County. She is the primary contributor to Tree Tuesdays, a weekly posting on Muddy Branch Alliance’s Facebook page. Amanda also assisted with preliminary information collection and engaged with knowledgeable partners to help launch plans for the tree initiative.

Cally Deppen attends Swarthmore College, where she is majoring in biology with a minor in environmental studies. Cally is also interning at Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, collecting data by performing electrofishing surveys and subsampling during the summer months. She recently became a Montgomery County Tree Steward, which involves monitoring specified parkland and submitting quarterly reports to Montgomery Parks. In addition to working directly with community members interested in donating or planting trees, Cally has also conducted research on tree care and maintenance to ensure that Muddy Branch Alliance can help tree owners properly care for new trees.

Mark Adams is currently a Montgomery College student and is majoring in chemical engineering. He is working with the Montgomery College chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) to develop a design for a rural water system in Belize. He is developing and implementing a water quality monitoring plan, and has already conducted some preliminary testing in the watershed. The water quality assessment project objective is to develop a quarterly monitoring schedule to test for bacterial contamination and other water quality parameters. The testing will allow Muddy Branch Alliance to monitor local water quality. Additionally, the partnership provides Montgomery College EWB members with an opportunity to develop a water quality monitoring system that can be applied to an overseas project that involves
designing rural water systems.

Nicole Condon is a recent graduate from American University’s environmental science graduate program. She is focused on logistical development of the MBA tree initiative and is currently identifying funding sources and potential partners for the tree program.

They have participated in various events and trainings this summer to gain knowledge about the watershed and water quality improvement strategies.  We cannot say enough to thank them for their energy and help in moving these initiatives forward.  They are really making waves in this watershed!