Chris Sorgine, 20, left, and Andrea Korman, 23, are gaining experience through a Student Conservation Association internship at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, south of Vian. Linda Copeland, Times
The Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge south of Vian offered internships to Andrea Korman, 23, and Chris Sorgine, 20, through the money the refuge received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Chad Ford with the refuge said.
“The internships are for 16 weeks. Andrea started the middle of August as the hunting permits and visitor services intern. After she completed the internship she began another internship as an avian influenza intern,” Ford said.
“Chris took over the internship as the hunting permits and visitor services in December. The internships will end March 26,” Ford said.
“We have been extremely pleased with them. They both are doing an excellent job,” Ford said.
Korman said she heard about the internship through one of her friends in college that had done a Student Conservation Association (SCA) internship.
“The application gives you a list of all the possible internships that fit your interests, so I saw the one at the refuge and applied,” Korman said.
“The internship is really good because coming out of college I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Also straight out of college you don’t really have the experience you need for an actual job. Coming here I was able to get experience in the visitors service and now in the biology field,” Korman said.
Sorgine said he found out about the SCA internship online. He was doing research about being a park ranger.
“I thought this would be a good way to get my foot in the door and figure out if this was what I wanted to do,” Sorgine said.
“When I first came I did what Chris is doing now. I was in charge of the hunting permit program for waterfowl and small game and worked with the visitor services,” Korman said.
“It has been really helpful as far as to what I want to do for the rest of life. I really like the biology of what I am doing now. It is mostly just going out and doing surveys, the management of the area and how the wildlife utilizes everything. I have learned a lot while I have been here,” Korman said.
“I am planning on staying in Oklahoma. I am going to be working with Shea Hammonds with the Ozark Plateau Refuge after the internship ends, doing bat monitoring and studies,” Korman said.
“I am also planning to go to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in the fall and get my masters in zoology,” she said.
Korman said she got her bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental science at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn.
Sorgine said he came from Minnesota and that the internship helped him decide on a career path.
“This gives you a chance to meet a lot of different people in the field you want to pursue,” Sorgine said.
“I love being outdoors and I thought I wanted to be a park ranger. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or what field I wanted to go into. I think I have found out what I want to do now,” Sorgine said.
“I graduated from high school in 2008. I knew that I wanted to go to college and this has definitely helped me decide what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Sorgine said.
“After my internship ends at the refuge I am going to be a summer park ranger at Lake Texoma with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Sorgine said.
Both said they would recommend the internship absolutely.
“By doing something like this you really get a feel for what you want to do,” both agreed.
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