Guillermo Campos: From a sign on the door to a scientific symposiumby Jan Janes on Aug 3, 2018
Doing homework in LS 109, a sign on the door caught Guillermo Campos' eye.
Internships available: work in real world environments with mentors. Earn $2700 working on an 8-week STEM project, summer 2018.
"It pays a lot," he said. Better than just a summer job, "It was an opportunity to feed my brain."
Campos talked with students who participated in past years. In the spring he stayed on campus between classes, shadowing a student installing wildlife cameras on campus. And he reached out to faculty.
Rey Morales, lead instructor for the internship program, noted Campos' interest and recommended that he apply.
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) internship application is extensive. Students submit transcripts, STEM classes taken and grades earned, campus leadership activities and a 500-word essay stating intended major and future academic/career goals. Students who make the cut then sit for a panel oral interview.
Guillermo Campos divided and transplanted native grasses in the Watershed Project greenhouse.
Campos, a 2018 Gavilan graduate with an AS in Health Science, planned to transfer to CSUMB in the fall. "Mr. Morales told me about their native plant restoration program." After two weeks building insect pitfalls, inspecting bird houses and collecting data on Gavilan's Gilroy campus, he was scheduled for his internship at the university's Watershed Institute.
Coyote broom seeds harvested from CSUMB native plants sprout in the greenhouse.
The activities were all new to Campos. He learned and mastered seed sifting, seed cleaning, plant divisions, greenhouse management, plant identification. In addition to hosting summer interns, the Watershed Institute is a destination for many service learning classes across the CSUMB campus.
Campos learned greenhouse management, including the need for disinfecting containers
before new seeds are planted and starts are transplanted.
Career advancement in the sciences is much enhanced by presentation skills. STEM interns are required to create an oversize poster documenting the quantitative and qualitative research results achieved. The botanical area of study was new to Campos, who will major in Health Science at CSUMB and then pursue a career as a counselor.
As part of his internship, Campos produced educational plant identifiers for many
native plants currently growing on the CSUMB campus in Seaside.
Along with more than 30 other STEM interns, Campos will present his findings at the annual STEM Symposium on Friday, August 17 from 10 a.m. until noon. Students will discuss their work and display their findings. The community is invited to attend and learn about the advanced work Gavilan students produce as part of their internships.
"This has been the best job in the world," said Campos. "It is so calm here. You come to work, learn new things, get it right and get better at the techniques."