A Summer with MWA

Summer 2019 is proving to already be packed full of water sampling, activities, and events for MWA and staff. Fortunately, we have three additional AmeriCorps Members for the summer to help us get things done! Our new members are Sarah Opst, Jacob Connell, and back for a second summer, Britt Mechling. They will be with us a little over three months and will be helping with water sampling, macroinvertebrate studies, blog posts, videos, research, and a lot more.

Let’s meet our first summer AmeriCorps Member, Sarah Opst. Sarah is a student at Grove City College majoring in English with a professional writing minor and a concentration in science writing. While at school, she enjoys writing for her college newspaper, editing for a school journal, and working as a writing tutor. Her hobbies include traveling, running, and learning about health-related topics. As she has lived in and around New Stanton all her life, she is interested in contributing to environmental conservation in an area close to home. Over the summer, she will be researching, editing, and writing for MWA as well as doing some field work.

Next, make welcome to Jacob Connell. Jake is currently studying Biological Science at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg with an overall goal to obtain a job in the field of water sampling or some similar environmental practice. He became an Americorps member because he wanted the opportunity to expand his knowledge in the environmental field as well as work with the public. Jake is excited for this experience at MWA and believes that it will help him with his future and steer him in the right direction.

Finally, we have returning summer AmeriCorps Member Britt Mechling. Britt was one of our 2018 summer AmeriCorps members and has decided to join us for a second term. He is from Uniontown and attends Penn State, University Park. Britt will be graduating this upcoming December with a major in environmental resource management and a minor in watershed management. This summer at the MWA, he is continuing to sample water along the Youghiogheny River with the Swimmable Waters project. He also plans to continue making videos that raise public awareness about the Swimmable Waters project and about where local drinking water comes from.

Sarah, Jake, and Britt are members of the Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps—a local initiative of AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is a national service organization that places members at host sites to serve in areas such as environment, education, human needs, and public safety. Besides their community service hours, members are also provided an education award and living stipends. We are very happy to have such enthusiastic members joining us for the summer.