The Dynamic Duo – VCE Summer Interns 2019

By Lynn Berry, Extension Master Gardener


Jessica in Personal Pesticide Prevention gear.
Photo © 2019 Kirsten Conrad

Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Summer Intern Jessica Peyton and 4-H Summer Intern Kaethe Rose have started their 2019 internships. They bring lots of enthusiasm and smarts to the Fairlington Community Center (FCC). Here is a thumb-nail sketch of each to help you get acquainted.

EMG Summer Intern Jessica Peyton grew up outside Richmond, Virginia. She graduated in May  from The College of William and Mary, with a major in sociology and a minor in business administration. Much of her course work in her major focused on environmental science and policy, environmental justice, and urban agriculture.

During the Fall 2018 semester, she designed, researched, conducted interviews, analyzed data, and wrote and presented a formal paper on the relationship between urban agriculture and surrounding communities. Jessica spent the Spring 2018 semester studying in Copenhagen, Denmark, in a program that allowed her to focus on issues of sustainability in Northern Europe, politics, and the ethics of food and sustainable business strategy. As part of her course work, she took a field trip to an island in western Denmark to see first-hand how a community is working to achieve its zero carbon footprint goal. She also traveled to Oslo, Norway, to study existing geothermal, solar and wind programs.

Photo © 2019 Lynn Berry

During her EMG summer internship, Jessica will be working on a number of projects as directed by Kirsten Conrad, including preparing a calendar of all the different events in the DMV that will be going on during Urban Agriculture month. She will also research and prepare exhibits and displays to highlight the 40th anniversary of Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia (MGNV). She is particularly excited about researching and describing how land management practices have changed over the past 40 years. Expect to see Jessica at MGNV seminars and public education events where she will give presentations on special topics of interest.

Photo © 2019 Lynn Berry

4-H Summer Intern Kaethe Rose grew up all over the world as her family followed her father in his military assignments. Living in Germany, her interest in paleontology was piqued by many visits to a slate quarry where she and her family dug for fossils. Kaethe’s fossil digs led to her considering a career in paleontology. Towards that end, she is enrolled in the Evolution and Ecology Program at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she is a rising junior. While living in Garmisch, Germany, during high school, Kaethe coached soccer for children ages 5 to15 and worked as a youth activities assistant at a teen center. She was a research intern in Winter 2018 at the Ocean Marine Institute at Maui, Hawaii, where she studied and researched the effects of noise pollution on humpback whales.

During her 4-H summer internship, Kaethe expects to work with local children from third grade through high school.  She will present talks at extended day programs and summer activity programs on nature, ecology, and sustainability. She will also coach a 4-H soccer team. Kaethe is very excited about spending four  days with children ages 9 to13 at the 4-H camp in the Shenandoah Valley. Kaethe will also work with the 4-H program for high school students at Argus House, which  teaches job preparation skills such as resume writing, interview skills, and employment networking.

Kaethe starting with the traditional summer intern assignment – but soon she will be out in the field!

Jessica and Kaethe will be in many different places in Arlington and Alexandria this summer.  If you happen to be at FCC or other venues where they are working, introduce yourself and welcome these inspiring young women to our ranks.

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