“The internship program is a win-win situation for both high school students and the DFW,” said Steve Donabauer, DFW assistant fisheries biologist. “High school students get early exposure to field biology as a potential career path and the DFW is able to better fulfill its mission without added expense to the state.”
Fall trimester senior Nick Harmes will be an intern for the DFW through October at the field office in Columbia City.
“I feel this will be a great opportunity and will help prepare me for college and decide on a career,” Harmes said.
Harmes has been assigned to convert historical fish management reports into electronic files that will soon be available on the DFW website (http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/). The goal is to develop a user-friendly search and retrieval system to provide anglers easy access to information on their favorite fishing spots throughout Indiana.
The DFW estimates there are approximately 10,000 historic fish management and research reports going back to the early 1950s. “Now that we have a working relationship with CCHS through the internship program, we can anticipate that most of our fish management reports will be available online within a few years,” Donabauer said.
The DFW intends to expand the program to other area high school students and offer future interns more opportunities to be involved with laboratory and field projects.