Geography Major Having a Busy Summer

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 by

Melissa Wygant '12

For some college students, summer is a time to reflect, refresh and relax. For others, like Gustavus senior Melissa Wygant, summer is a time to gain valuable career experience through a pair of internships.

Wygant, a geography major from White Bear Lake, Minn., is interning at the University of Minnesota’s Emergency Management Department and working with one of the geographic information systems analysts this summer.

“I have been preparing emergency management resource maps,” Wygant said. “I have also been researching and comparing emergency management best practices between educational institutions.”

Along with her responsibilities at the University of Minnesota, Wygant is also one of three summer student volunteers for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Chanhassen.

“I have been able to assist with day-to-day weather operations, severe weather reports, and participate in a weather balloon launch,” Wygant said. “I have also been helping the hydrologist gather and interpret historical hydrological data and normalize it to help with future flood forecasting.”

In addition to her two internships this summer, Wygant also traveled to Broomfield, Colorado, for the 36th annual Natural Hazards Conference. While there, she participated in the poster session by presenting her spring semester research project on “Urban vs. Rural Flooding, a Study of the Flood Management Practices in Fargo-Moorhead and the MN35K/ND35K Diversion Channel Proposal.”

“The Geography Department at Gustavus has helped prepare me for these experiences,” Wygant said. “The professors have been very supportive of me as I’ve pursued my interests.”

When Wygant graduates in May 2012 she plans to pursue a master’s degree in geography with an emphasis in physical geography and natural hazards.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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