Joshua Rinehimer, a Bloomsburg University senior and native of Berwick, PA, majoring in Geographical, Geological, and Environmental Science with a concentration in Environmental Geoscience, joined the EPCAMR team for a 6-week Summer internship less than a week ago. After graduating from Luzerne County Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering Technology, he decided to follow his passion and transferred to Bloomsburg University. There, Josh is building the academic knowledge that will one day find him a job in the environmental field. Now with the help of Dr. Bodenman, his Advisor and Robert E. Hughes, EPCAMR Executive Director, he has found himself a fitting internship where he can gain the field experience needed to fortify his education in watershed and wildlife habitat management and improvement.
Josh grew up in northeast Pennsylvania spending most of his youth in the woods helping his father, who worked as a logger. This is where he developed his passion for environmental conservation. He is married to his wife Elizabeth, has two sons, Elias and Silas, and expecting a third child in December, and they all love the outdoors as much as he does. When not working, Josh likes to spend most of his time with his family, but he also likes to go hunting, hiking, camping, fishing, and playing guitar.
“Being an Environmental Geoscience concentration, I really hope to see how the physical geology of the mining impacted region effects the way abandoned mine drainage (AMD) flows through the Wyoming Valley and other coalfield communities.” “I have learned about the effects of AMD in class, but now I get to see and help in the reclamation of these polluted areas under the leadership and guidance of the EPCAMR Staff and Mr. Hughes.” “It means a lot to me, not only as a student, but also as a local Pennsylvanian, the work that EPCAMR has been doing in this area for more than two decades.” “The steps we take today ensure a better, cleaner Earth for my children’s generation are what it’s all about.” emphasized Josh.
Robert E. Hughes, stated, “We’re glad to bring Josh on for the next 6 weeks to help us out over the Summer with many of our projects and programs. It never seems to slow down anymore in the Office and around the region with the amount of work, technical assistance, grant management, project management, and environmental education programs that we undertake within the communities that we serve. It’s always nice to have a few extra hands around to pick up on the work that we are doing and for him as an Intern to acquire the necessary skills and training in the field of watershed restoration, wildlife and aquatic habitat improvement, and environmental education and outreach. He’s come at a very busy time of the year, so I assured him that daily he will be going from one end of the environmental spectrum to the other helping us to juggle and manage the dozens of projects that we have going on throughout the Coalfields of Northeastern and Northcentral PA.”
“Josh has already helped to process iron oxide, sample iron oxide precipitate in the bottom of Earth Conservancy’s Askam AMD Maelstrom Oxidizer Treatment system that we monitor and maintain for them, assisted with a bi-county AMD and Abandoned Mine Lands tour of undergraduate and graduate Landscape Architecture students from the University of Oregon, inspected our Solomon Creek Trout Stream Dam Removal and Habitat Improvement Construction Project in Ashley Borough, Luzerne County, and is actively taking an online training and certification course in Aquatic Organism Passage (AOP) that most EPCAMR Staff have already through the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC), in partnership with Trout Unlimited, under the leadership of Phil Thomas, Habitat Coordinator for the PA Coldwater Habitat Restoration Program. The NAACC has developed common protocols and training for assessing road-stream crossings (culverts and bridges) and developed a regional database for this field data. The information collected will be used to identify high priority bridges and culverts for upgrade and replacement. Next week, he’ll be planting Waterboxxes and conducting a cleanup in Plainsville with incoming Wilkes University students as a service learning project, tie-dying t-shirts with Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) students in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District’s STEM Youth Camp for 1ST through 5th grade at Kistler Elementary in Wilkes-Barre, PA, taking Hazleton area-youth fishing at Lake Irena in Hazleton, PA, and assisting with another AMD Tour with Penn-State Master Watershed Stewards at our Office. I’d say he’s going to be learning lots about EPCAMR and how much work we REALLY do around the region in the next few weeks. I think he’s up for the challenge!” laughed, Robert.