In the battle against bacteria contaminating Houston’s bayou watersheds, two summer interns carved out a victory, as they investigated water quality for the Bayou Preservation Association (BPA).
When Russell Clark and Kyle Denny return to college in the fall, they can boast about combating bacterial pollution as Water Quality Investigators for the BPA, in a program funded by The Energy Corridor District’s Shell and ExxonMobil.
During the BPA internship, Clark and Denny searched for sources of bacterial contamination in area waterways under the supervision of Steve Hupp, Water Quality Director for the BPA. This year the team investigated bacteria sources in the watersheds of Brays Bayou, Greens Bayou and Hunting Bayou. Sources were found, reported to the proper organizations, and the contamination was reduced.
Both interns also attended and participated in BPA committee meetings and learned how a non-profit organization is organized and managed.
The grants, along with administrative assistance from Volunteer Houston, can help non-profit organizations like BPA hire interns over the summer. ExxonMobil’s grant, called the Community Summer Jobs Program (CSJP), funded Clark’s internship, while Shell funded Denny’s internship.
Denny, a Rice University student, studies civil and environmental engineering, while Clark studies molecular and cellular biology at Colorado College, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
BPA provided staffing, guidance and some of the costs for the water quality intern program. The CSJP organized a number of networking events, volunteer opportunities and developmental seminars for each intern. Shell’s internship program also provided networking and professional development opportunities.