Charlotte “Charlie” Guterman ’22 started her job as an arboretum intern a few weeks ago. Communications office student writer Hannah Katz ’21 sat down with her to talk about what that means and how she got involved.
How did you hear about this position?
“I was in a bio lab last semester, with Professor [Jason] Townsend … who said ‘oh there’s an arboretum intern position open, you should check it out on Handshake.’ I submitted my résumé last spring, had an interview a week before we went home, and then had no clue what came of it until July. Then I got an email from Don Croft, the natural resources program manager, that said sorry for the delay, but we would love to take you on for this coming semester.”
What are you working on right now?
“My job has so far entailed certain administrative things like checking the arboretum email, updating the voice mail, and replacing plaques, but I also have an iPad they gave me to log the position of every tree on campus. So I’ve been going around and checking tags and cross- referencing them, as well as figuring out which trees need new tags because the others were munched off by squirrels. This week I’ve been writing a script for a video we’re making for a tree tour, so we’ll take you around and show you some notable trees on campus. It will be shared on Hamilton’s social media as well as on the arboretum website.”
How can Hamilton community members get involved in the arboretum now?
“The arboretum is a big way that people from Clinton and the surrounding area involve themselves in the College, which is cool. We have a lot of arboretum regulars who have come to the talks for years and years and years. And we are still having the speaker series, but they will all be Zoom calls instead of in person talks. Just go into the glens, the whole campus is an arboretum. You’ll learn so much more and see so much more just walking around in it.”
See the arboretum webpage to learn more.
How does this position relate to your long-term goals?
“I’m an art and environmental studies double major. One element of this job that is very exciting and feels very applicable is that I’m using Arc GIS software a lot — that’s definitely a skill I’m learning a lot about in my geology and environmental studies classes that feels like it carries over pretty well. It’s something you can stick on a résumé, but it’s also genuinely interesting to me as an artist. I think the visual representation of environmental issues and environmental phenomena is really powerful through GIS. Theoretically, if I were to have a life plan [after] graduating from this place, I would love to make some sort of systems-based art that is helpful in visualizing climate change or other environmental factors that are really affecting life right now, and will continue to after I leave Hamilton.”