Steve Hirsch, the Director of Engineering for SIPOA, has hired two summer interns to help him in the ongoing project of keeping our lakes clean and healthy. The intern program is one that has been in existence for some time and Steve is taking full advantage of the opportunities it provides to keep Seabrook in its pristine condition.
The two interns are Tiernan Van Dyke and Joe Roddey and both have a background in engineering, an essential prerequisite for the job.
Tiernan’s parents moved from Atlanta to Folly Beach so he has spent summers visiting in
the area. His mother linked up with someone who knew Steve Hirsch and the opportunity for the internship was presented as an option for Tiernan to pursue. He jumped at the offer. He is studying at the University of Rochester but spent his last semester at the College of Charleston, which helped cement his credentials for the job. He is pursuing the study of Environmental Science.
Joe , who lives in Columbia, is in his senior year at the Citadel although he has spent a considerable amount of time in this area as his grandparents live in Kiawah. He is lucky enough to be staying with his grandparents for the duration of the internship period, which runs from May through the early part of August.
A typical day starts with both interns meeting with Steve, then setting out in a jon boat on one of our 24 lakes. Both interns love the ability to spend a good deal of their day outside. It is pretty hard to beat being in a jon boat on Seabrook lakes on a pretty day, they both agree.
Their job entails gathering data to determine the quality of the water, measuring the dissolved oxygen, counting the alligators, then returning to the office to input data into their computer systems. Water samples are also taken and sent to an offsite laboratory for analysis. When asked if they had found anything untoward in any of the lakes, they pointed out there is a lake on Jenkins Point that has turned green as a result of an algae bloom. Algae blooms are caused by high nutrient levels in ponds that can be contributed to by runoff from fertilized lawns. They confirmed that the lake is being treated to remove the algae.
Both interns enjoy the job and the opportunity to use the knowledge they have acquired through their college educations. Tiernan sees his future in the park system of the US government while Joe would like to stay in the area and pursue a career in civil engineering.
I came away from the interview very much impressed with the program run by the Environmental Committee to keep our lakes beautiful and clean. I think we have all seen the enthusiastic fishermen that go to the lakes to fish and rarely come away empty handed. Now we know the work that goes into keeping the lakes in the great condition we enjoy.
-Submitted by Barbara Burgess, Tidelines Writer