(Posted July 31, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Many students spend part of their vacation in summer school, but Juniata College student Carlee Hashagen, a senior from Easton, Pa. studying environmental science, is taking her break as an opportunity to teach others as part of a new educational program at Raystown Lake. Hashagen is the first intern in the Raystown Conservation Environmental Partnership, a program designed to have a college intern deliver educational programs on wildlife, conservation and sustainability at various businesses located near or at Raystown Lake. Juniata College and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as several businesses at Raystown Lake, sponsor the summer-long project. Hashagen teaches a rotating slate of educational programs at five area recreation spots: Raystown Resort, Heritage Cove Resort, Seven Points Marina, the beach at Seven Points, and Trough Creek State Park. \"All of the programs have a central message of conservation, but I teach segments on animals, reptiles, animal tracks, water conservation, recycling and other programs,\" says Hashagen, who started her project in late May and recently taught a class on reptiles before 80 visitors at Seven Points. Hashagen will present an evening program on bald eagles at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 10 at Seven Points Amphitheater, the only evening program she has scheduled for the summer. Raystown Lake has four nesting bald eagle pairs and Hashagen will present information on eagle habitat, biology and behavior. The internship program began in late May, although Hashagen has been preparing lessons since receiving word in February that she was hired for the position. According to Chuck Yohn, co-director of the Raystown Field Station, the college and the Corps of Engineers would like to expand the program next summer so area resorts and businesses can offer more educational programming. This summer, Hashhagen usually has delivered one program per day at client sites. \"I get visitors of all ages,\" Hashagen says. \"The little kids love the animal programs and I\'ve had adults enjoy many of the programs.\" \"I came into this as more of science person than a teacher,\" she continues. \"I\'ve learned the lesson that teaching is a lot harder than it seems. And the kids are much more knowledgeable about science than I was at their age. I did a program on recycling and they knew everything about it.\" For now, Hashagen works 40 hours a week, spending one day in the office and delivering programming from Thursday through Sunday every week. Yohn says the program is already getting attention from campers and vacationers who call in to the various sites to ask when Hashagen\'s next scheduled presention will be. \"As the program grows and develops, we hope that more tourism-related businesses will join the program so we can expand the program to two or three interns each summer.\"

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.