2011 Intern Blog - Reiman Gardens
Follow Reiman Gardens' interns this summer as they work at the Gardens.
Posted on Aug 12, 2011
at 2:05 PM
Kaitlyn O'Toole, Rachel Adams, Hannah Kitt, Monica Cox, Amy Horris, Nicole Soderquist, and Rachel Flynn
A Post From all of the Interns...
At the beginning of the summer, we each came into the internship from different backgrounds and not knowing what to expect. As the summer progressed, we started to get to know the Gardens and the people we worked with. Soon enough we all began to get settled in and feel at home.
Thursday morning was the designated ‘Intern weekly education session,’which quickly became our favorite morning of the week. This was the day that all the interns gather with Aaron to go on field trips, learn about different areas of Reiman Gardens and of course, visit.
It was great that we got a chance to experience different parts of Reiman Gardens, such as the Gift Shop and Butterfly Lab. On the day we helped out in the gift shop, we had a lot of fun working together to make displays and it was great to see how happy Val was with our final product.
Everyone enjoyed the field trips, especially the trip to Omaha, Nebraska; we got a chance to see how a different butterfly house works and see behind the scenes of the zoo. We also got to visit Lauritzen Gardens, which was really enjoyable because we were able to see the many similarities and differences between Reiman Gardens. Among our favorite spectacles were the natural, hand-made train set that rolled through the garden and the huge, ceramic sculptures crafted by Jun Kaneko.
We want to say a special thank you to Aaron Steil, because without you this internship would not be possible. You put a lot of work into everything we did and made sure that we had a well-rounded, educational experience.
Also, thank you to all of our supervisors who guided the way for all of us throughout the entire summer. Without all of you, we would have been lost. Thank you to Val Throne, Ed Moran, Maria Witte, Nathan Brockman, and Sarah Rummery. Thanks to Sarah for always being optimistic and upbeat; thank you to Maria for always having a positive attitude and constantly helping to aim us in the right direction; thanks to Aaron for being a friendly, approachable supervisor and a great problem solver; thanks to Val for showing how much dedication it takes and inspiring us to do the same; thanks to Ed for being such a hard worker that is always willing to help out; and thank you to Nathan for being a wonderful teacher and inspiring us through your passion.
And to all of the rest of the wonderful staff and volunteers for the warm welcome and constant support that you gave to all of us.
Overall, it was a great summer and we are sad to see it end. We all will walk away with some really great experiences, new friends and even more importantly, the most amazing memories.
A group photo taken right before our Brown Bag Presentations
Posted on Aug 11, 2011
at 1:33 PM
Kaitlyn O’Toole, Communications Intern
I am a student at Iowa State University and am entering my senior year of Graphic Design. The deadline of having to enter the “real world” is approaching quickly and it definitely is a bittersweet feeling. Being in the program I am in, I have had many opportunities to experience some amazing places that I wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance to see. Throughout my education in the design program some of the places I have been able to travel to are Chicago, New York, and this upcoming fall I will be studying in Italy for the entire semester. I am looking forward to studying and doing studio work in a foreign environment because I believe it will spark new inspiration and creativity. It will be a good transition from the Gardens because I have kept my mind working throughout the summer due to this internship, and it will make getting back into my school work much easier.
Participating in the internship this summer has begun to prepare me for the real world. I will take everything I have learned and apply it to the experiences I have from here on out. I have learned that I have no excuse for procrastination because this summer I have seen how much I can accomplish if I focus and put my mind to it. Graphic Design is one of my true passions in life and I could not imagine a job where I couldn’t use my hands and creativity. Reiman Gardens has just given me a little taste of what I have to look forward to when getting into the professional world.
A few samples of signage I have made over the summer.
Posted on Aug 8, 2011
at 8:12 AM
Hannah Kitt, Gift Shop Intern
From the beginning of my summer here at Reiman Gardens, I have noticed that the people here are not only great at their jobs, but they are also all very friendly and fun to be around. Everybody has been welcoming of the interns and let us into their areas of expertise so that we can have a more rounded experience at Reiman Gardens. This afternoon I had the chance to be in the Butterfly Lab for a couple hours and got to learn how to glue chrysalises onto string for display in the emergence case. Not only are these experiences interesting, but I think they also help me to give guests more accurate information when they ask questions. The staff also has a wonderful sense of humor and keep things fun. It's never a boring day!
Posted on Aug 4, 2011
at 3:57 PM
Amy Horras, Education Intern
As you can tell from many of our posts so far this summer, our theme this year at the Gardens is Insects. To some people this theme does not sound that appealing because insects may not be one of their favorite things. But here at the Gardens, we have insects that everyone can enjoy. Our two main displays of larger than life insects can be found throughout the garden. Many children enjoy walking through the Gardens trying to spot all of the large insects. Pictured below is one of the big insects, the Mosquito, by Randy Schnebbe. Visitors can sit on the bench and pretend that they are being attacked by an enormous insect!
Many of our displays highlight the insects that are beneficial to gardeners. This year’s theme in the Home Production Garden is pollination. The display talks about how many different insects help pollinate plants in production gardens. We also installed pollination houses as a place for our beneficial insects to make a home. It is important to protect the beneficial insects that roam around in the garden. So come out to the Gardens and learn how helpful insects really can be.
Mosquito by Randy Schnebbe
Home Production Garden
Posted on Jul 29, 2011
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Rachel Flynn, Entomology Intern
Every theme so far has been inviting, educational, and creative. This year’s theme, Insects, is a little more specific then the past yet so broad that it could cover almost 50% of the earth’s organisms. Talk about endless learning opportunities! This theme year is a little closer to home for the team that works in the lab; we get to show everyone what we work with everyday. Nathan, I know, is thrilled about this theme too for that very reason.
Insects are often viewed as creepy crawlies or pests, what many don’t realize are how vital they are to our existence. Without insects we would not have pollinators to help plants reproduce (fruits and vegetables) or decomposers or food for many other creatures on this earth. Insects even do things that we didn’t think were possible, such as eliminating pesticides by using beneficial insects to get rid of pests; or even the Omaha Zoo using Carpet beetles to strip skeletons of dead animals in order to use them as displays. Or how about the many products that we use that are made by insects such as honey or silk. Though they may be small and sometimes alien-like, insects play a humongous role in our ecology. And they are definitely more interesting then you could ever imagine!
IPM (Intelligent Pest Management)
Posted on Jul 28, 2011
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Rachel Adams, Plant Collections Intern
When people hear that I’m from Louisiana and living in Iowa for the summer, the first thing they want to know is, “Why Iowa?” All summer I’ve been thinking of a good, concise response to the question. The quick answer is that I found the right internship program which happened to be in Iowa.
The next question is usually, what makes Reiman Gardens the right internship? First of all, it is away from home. I firmly believe that a person can gain an extraordinary amount of life experience from being in an unfamiliar setting with new people. Moving away for the summer felt almost necessary for me.
The other thing that interested me about this internship was the program itself. I wanted to find an internship that was geared toward educating students, not just using them as cheap labor. Between field trips, educational sessions and day-to-day work, I was confident that I would learn so much at Reiman Gardens.
I was accepted to the internship in March, moved to Ames in May and even though the summer is almost over, I feel like I’ve just arrived. My time here in Ames and at Reiman Garden has proved invaluable and unforgettable.
On a bike ride, enjoying the scenery in Ames
Rachel's desk at Reiman Gardens
Posted on Jul 20, 2011
at 9:21 AM
Nicole Soderquist, Outdoor Horticulture Intern
I am originally from Minnesota so I have never had the opportunity to visit Omaha. For our third and final intern field trip day I had the wonderful opportunity to visit there. It was a long but exciting day filled with trips to the Lauritzen Botanical Garden, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, and having the opportunity to enjoy some of the local restaurants.
Our first stop was at the Lauritzen Botanical Gardens which is located on a bluff just west of the Missouri river. With this ideal location there are views of the river through the garden. While strolling through the gardens and getting a behind the scenes tour we were able to experience more than 50 drawings and large scale ceramic sculptures done by internationally renowned artist Jun Kaneko.
Our last stop was at the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo where we had the opportunity to have another behind the scenes tour of the butterfly and insect area. It was a wonderful experience to get a sneak peak at the inner workings of two such different garden landscapes. By far my favorite trip!
All of the Interns
Jun Kaneko sculpture
Henry Doorly Zoo
Posted on Jul 20, 2011
at 9:08 AM
Monica Cox, Indoor Horticulture Intern
Don’t move too quickly, there is a giant spider right behind you! KIDDING! It’s made out of wood material and on display here at Reiman Gardens for their theme year of Insects! I have had the opportunity of helping the cause by decorating non-usable tires as aphids. Not to mention the heavy lifting involved while transferring a VW beetle painted as a ladybug into the Conservatory’s inside bed. Needless to say, plenty of the staff members have been “bugged” by the insect sensation.
Along with the creative projects to produce a few of the insects on display, I have learned quite a bit about the creatures from signage throughout the building. For example, did you know that aphids fear ladybugs? I would too if I was a ladybug’s favorite snack! Aphids can cause serious and sometimes fatal damage to a plant by ingesting the liquid throughout the plant’s tissue. As well as producing an excess amount of a sticky substance known as ‘honeydew’ that serves as breeding ground for mold. So I suppose next time I see a ladybug, I might just let it be as it’s acting as an organic pest control.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this year’s theme because being quite the girly-girl, I am not ashamed to say that insects have scared me throughout the decades. Now I am proud to say I will take on any butterfly, sticky palm tree bug, or any other six legged creature! As for the oversized David Roger’s pieces amongst the outdoor gardens… I think we better call a pest control worker!
License plate on the lady bug vehicle located in the conservatory
Indoor horticulture staff Kayla Van Stelton and Heather Howieson acting like insects
Posted on Jul 15, 2011
at 3:01 PM
Kaitlyn O'Toole, Communications Intern
The theme year at Reiman Gardens is INSECTS! The Gardens are enchanted on a large scale this summer with the several David Rogers’ Big Bugs that are on display. Some are huge and out in the open and others are hidden farther back in the Gardens. My favorite is the damselfly on display in the William R. Stafford Garden. It is all the way back in the Gardens, hidden in a place that some visitors often forget, yet it is one of my favorite locations in the Gardens. The plant life is less structured and wilder out in the Stafford Garden, which makes it a beautiful little oasis to go explore when in need of some quiet or cool shade. The tall plants and grasses mesh well with the large, wooden damselfly. All the sudden, its scale doesn’t seem so abnormal. Throughout my internship the Stafford Garden has become my favorite location to take photographs because of its unpredictable landscape. You can guarantee it will look different every time you see it.
The damselfly seems perfectly placed within the Gardens, and since it’s my favorite it pushes me to see the entire garden whenever I am out there. So, next time you are out at Reiman Gardens make a challenge to see if you can find all of the bugs and then decide which one is your favorite!
The Damselfly in the William R. Stafford Garden
Posted on Jul 13, 2011
at 3:32 PM
Amy Horras, Education Intern
There are many different ways education can be seen here at Reiman Gardens. Throughout the year we host many different lectures, tours and workshops, but these are not the only way education is shown at the Gardens. We use interpretation as a way to educate people about the theme year, but also to teach them something new. For example, the current display in the Herb Garden talks about the different culinary insects and herbs that people use in different parts of the world. This is a great way to educate our visitors about the diverse traditions throughout the world that relate back to our theme year on insects.
We also promote education through our 400+ volunteers. Our volunteers share their knowledge of the Gardens by working the Christian Reiman Butterfly Wing, being a tour guide, and also helping out in the gardens. The volunteers’ interaction with our visitors is just another way we help teach the community about the many different exhibits at Reiman Gardens. Guests can also gain extra educational information from our website or our many helpful brochures located near the front desk. Education has always been very important part of Reiman Gardens, and continues to grow stronger every day.
Joey and Jesse’s Herb Garden – Culinary Insects & Herbs Display