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Top Summer Activities for Students Interested in the Environment

Writers: Diyor Mukumov, Leah Fontaine, Marileen Meamari

USDA AgDiscovery Program

The USDA AgDiscovery summer outreach program encourages students to keep America's food supply safe while also enhancing their knowledge of plants, animals, and the challenges of wildlife.

This is a roughly three-week-long program where students do activities such as practicing veterinary work and meet professional USDA workers. The program is organized by the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and its various university partners’ College of Agriculture across the US. Students can also earn college credit if desired through this program. This is a free program to apply to! Students are only responsible for the cost of airfare if the university they get accepted into is far from them. Furthermore, as of 2022, the program is back to being in-person. Individuals from 7th to 12th grade may apply, but age restrictions vary among the university campuses.

United States Youth Conservation Corps (YCC)

The United States Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is a summer youth employment program that provides young people of ages 15-18 who are permanent residents or citizens of the US with opportunities to gain valuable work experience and skills. These opportunities include serving the public through conservation initiatives in national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and fish hatcheries. Working with the National Park Service can be an exciting way to gain career skills and experience while working in some of the country's most beautiful locations. Participants will collaborate with peers who share a passion for national parks and outdoor recreation, many of whom may become close friends or even life-long colleagues.

For more information about the application, eligibility requirements, and structure of YCC, visit the links below:

Cold Emails to Professors

Cold emailing, or sending an email the recipient has not requested, is known for being challenging and scary. But it doesn’t need to be! To effectively cold email a professor, start off with a subject line that is engaging, valuable, and informative. Address the professor by his or her proper name. Afterwards, tell the professor a bit about yourself and get to the point. Explain why you are emailing and identify a call to action. To show you have done your research, explain the specific points of the professor’s research you find admirable and wish to learn more about. Keep it short and simple; professors do not have much time to read a long message. Finally, finish with a kind remark and sign your name.



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