Logan Stech has been named the 2020 high school intern for the Itasca Research Internship Program that is for a student of the White Earth Reservation. He will be part of three-week internship in July 2020 working with Jessica Gutierrez, Scientist and graduate student in Ecology, Evolution and Biology at the University of Connecticut. Both Jessica and Logan will work with Sarah Knutie, PhD, and lead of the Knutie Lab investigating parasite-host interactions in eastern bluebirds and tree swallows in northern Minnesota.
Logan, a recent graduate and class president from Waubun High School in Waubun, MN, will be attending the University of Minnesota -Morris in fall to pursue a degree in geology. “I want to study geology because it is similar to paleontology, which is my childhood dream job, but it usually pays better,“ explained Logan.
This summer the internship will be online due to University’s policy with COVID-19. “With the Itasca Station internship I am excited about learning how to do research, as it’s something I plan to do once I’m in Morris. I’m also excited to see what the research will offer with some job experience, as I don’t have much," Logan explains. He will be helping use data synthesis software to handle incoming results, a chance to interact with the science and the scientist in real time.
In April, Logan participated with his family in sugarbush, harvesting sap from maple trees in order to make maple syrup. This spring, he and his father spent two weeks making syrup. “We had roughly 70 taps going and ended up with 10 gallons of finished maple syrup.” Logan is connected to his environment at home as well as in school science programs like Envirothon.
The Envirothon is a high school outdoor environmental learning competition. The program helps students learn about Minnesota’s Natural Resources, public policy and roles of government and landowners in managing the state's resources develop. Logan names Envirothon as one of his biggest accomplishments. “I’m proud of making state Envirothon two years in a row. I put a lot of work into Envirothon, so it was good to see some results. I was sad when I found out it was canceled this year, because I would have liked to participate three years in a row.”
Logan’s interests include fishing, playing games with friends, and using a rock tumbler. As an avid reader, some of Logan’s favorite books include the Red Queen series, and any book by Rick Riordan. — Rebecca Dallinger
Photo provided by Logan Stech.