After graduating from Lafayette in the spring of 2016, Caroline Ladlow headed to Sitka, Alaska to complete an internship for the Sitka Ranger District of Tongass National Forest. The AmeriCorps position, which she applied to via the Student Conservation Association (SCA), primarily involved working on the trail crew. As a member of the trail crew, Caroline helped with building and maintaining the trails and cabins within the area. Ladlow also conducted visitor use surveys to help Tongass collect data about the people visiting the forest — what their activities are, how often they visit, how their money was spent on their trip, and how satisfied they are with different aspects of the forest.
Caroline enjoyed her experience in Alaska and would highly recommend SCA positions to current and future students interested in environmental work.
Caroline Ladlow was an environmental studies major with a second major in geology. Ladlow was involved in various aspects of campus life during her time in college. From completing research as an Excel Scholar to studying abroad, an internship and involvement in student organizations, Ladlow had some great experiences while at Lafayette.
As an Excel Scholar, Ladlow had the opportunity to complete research with Professor Kira Lawrence, which Ladlow also said was her most transformative experience while at Lafayette. She researched sea surface temperature during the Miocene, the most recent time when carbon dioxide levels were as high as they are now, to get a better idea of what climate was like at that time. Caroline feels that the experience was really helpful in showing her that she enjoys research, including dealing with the “bumps” that come up during the research process. Ladlow said she also enjoyed writing about her findings and presenting them later on.
Another of Ladlow’s memorable experiences was a study abroad trip to Tanzania. The program Ladlow took part in was through the School for International Training (SIT) and focused on Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management. Because the program is related to environmental studies, she was able to receive credit for several courses to count towards the major’s requirements. As part of the trip, Ladlow did a lot of snorkeling and evaluated coral reef systems. In addition, she completed surveys of forests, animal behavioral studies, went on safari and completed an independent study.
Moreover, Ladlow completed an internship with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection performing dam inspections. “I learned that I really enjoy working with people in the community and educating them about their interactions with the environment, and whether their behavior is harmful or helpful, and whether they should continue certain behaviors,” Ladlow said regarding her experience with the Department of Environmental Protection.
Caroline was also involved on campus with student organizations such as LEAP, working as a teaching assistant in geology labs and helping the environmental studies assistant with special projects.