You never know when or how the next good intern is going to appear. Sometimes they just walk through your door.
Galen Xiang moved to Minnesota from Atlanta, Georgia to expand his horizons through a labor-intensive Conservation Corps position. His background in ecology and resource economics had him schooled in the subject but he wanted real-world, biting-cold and biting-insect experience. He had previously worked in streams and with fish on the eastern seaboard and traveled to Costa Rica for a tropical ecology experience.
On his days off from clearing buckthorn for the Corps, he commonly walked by our building and became more and more curious about what we did at Freshwater. He dropped off a resume midsummer, offered to volunteer on Fridays, and kept checking in. He made himself hard to forget and his persistence paid off.
Galen was looking for a temporary position in the water field to bridge the gap between the Corps and graduate school, hopefully at the University of Minnesota in the Water Resources Program. When it was clear that we needed a bit more research power on the Groundwater Study we hired him to help with background data collection and have not looked back. He has enthusiastically dug into the literature and sat shoulder-to-shoulder with the team of interdisciplinary researchers, contributing what he has learned.
Galen is adventurous in other parts of his life as well; he plays piano but doesn’t have one so he seeks out public pianos where he can practice. We hear he also makes a mean fried rice, having been trained in the kitchen of his parents’ restaurant.