Welcome Sawyer, Aquatic Invasive Species Intern

by | Jun 15, 2020 | Aquatic Invasive Species | 1 comment

Summer has arrived, and with it, so has our summer aquatic invasive species (AIS) internship. This year, we’re excited to welcome Sawyer Rubeck to the River Alliance team as our 2020 intern. He recently graduated from UW-La Crosse with a Biology-Environmental Science degree and will be teaming up with Ellen Voss (our La Crosse Area AIS Manager) to tackle AIS issues on the Mississippi River and its major tributaries in La Crosse, Trempealeau, and Buffalo Counties.

This internship is going to look a little different than it has in previous years in light of Covid-19, but we’ve modified our protocols and expectations in efforts to keep everyone as safe as possible.

The primary focus of Sawyer’s position will be conducting Clean Boats Clean Waters watercraft inspections at boat landings to educate boaters on how and where AIS are most likely to hitch a ride and discuss important prevention steps with them.

Other duties include participating in statewide AIS prevention campaigns, including Landing Blitz, Drain Campaign, and the Bait Dealer Initiative, and River Alliance-led programs like Project Riverine Early Detectors (RED) and Snapshot Day.

Sawyer will also help Ellen with AIS monitoring and control efforts and help educate tournament anglers about the threats of AIS at major fishing tournaments on the Mississippi River. It will be a busy summer, and we’re excited to get started!

From Sawyer: To introduce myself, I grew up in a little town called Fall Creek just outside of Eau Claire, WI, with the Eau Claire River in my backyard, so from a young age, I’ve been intrigued and fascinated by water systems. From this internship, I hope to learn more about the prevention and removal methods of aquatic invasive species in the Driftless region. I also hope to learn more about the inner workings of a nonprofit organization. In the future, I plan to continue contributing to a sustainable environment and sustainable future for all. One fun fact about me is that I have two cats named Caesar and Rascal and two dogs: one Cockapoo and one Goldendoodle named Ginger and Rufus, respectively.