Summertime at ESF

Name: Lukas Vogt
Major: Sustainable Energy Management
Hometown: Fayetteville, NY
Graduation Date: May 2016

I’m assuming that you’re probably reading this because you’re interested in attending ESF (or at least you want to see what it has to offer). Attending ESF could end up being one of the best decisions of your life and I’m going to tell you some of the reasons why.
There have been countless opportunities presented to me this summer through ESF and here they are:

1. Monday through Thursday nights I have had the privilege of working with the esteemed University Police Department as a Dispatcher/Communicator. This position is a work-study position offered by the University that entails recording daily activity logs for the officers (keeping track of what an officer does and who they assist throughout their shift), answering phone calls, and communicating pertinent and timely information to the officers.

2. On Fridays, and in some of my free time, I do internship work with a renewable energy forecasting company based in Albany. The company’s name is MESO and they create weather forecasts to predict renewable energy generation. For example, on a cloudy day there will be less solar generation and on a windy day there will be more wind generation. My work for MESO is primarily comprised of analyzing some of their forecast models to identify any potential weaknesses or errors in their forecast models.

3. I also have had the opportunity to spend multiple weekends at a Buddhist Monastery in the Catskill Mountains. Last year I did an internship program there and have since been able to return sporadically on the weekends this year to help out with any groups they might be hosting and strengthen my practice as well. It’s a beautiful thing being able to get away for a weekend like that and truly slow everything else down.

4. Earlier this summer I also had the pleasure of maintaining an aquaponics system housed in the greenhouses on campus. For those of you reading this that don’t know, aquaponics is the process of growing vegetables or herbs hydroponically and using recycled nutrients from a connected fish tank (generally the fish are tilapia so you could eat the vegetables and the fish too!). The aquaponics system was started by an on-campus club called the Green Campus Initiative (GCI). However, due to an electrical substation transfer on campus, we needed to move the fish out of the greenhouses until the next semester starts. So I ended up taking most of them back to my apartment, to an empty 80 gallon tank that my roommate has had lying around. The fish are all so wonderful and one of the larger females actually has a mouth full of eggs right now that will soon hatch into baby tilapia which is very exciting.

5. Last but not least, in a week or two I will begin doing internship work for another renewable energy company called Halco. This is a renewable energy consulting and sales company that does work in a lot of different areas. I am going to be shadowing home energy advisors to gain valuable experience in residential energy auditing.

All of these opportunities were, in some way, presented to me through being a student at ESF. The University Police job and aquaponics maintenance are pretty clear. However, let me explain the others so you get the full picture of how great ESF is with connecting you to important people in your field of study. My internship at MESO is due to a presentation given in a renewable energy class I took where the CEO of MESO came in and spoke. At the end of his presentation he gave out his contact info. I was connected with the Buddhist Monastery through another club on campus called the Student Buddhist Association (SBA). This is actually a Syracuse University club but as an ESF student, you have access to all their facilities, classes, and extra-curricular organizations (and all at SUNY tuition rates!!!). Lastly, the internship at Halco came to me through multiple friends in the same major as me that currently have internships with or work for Halco. Overall ESF has so much to offer anyone that attends it!

We hope you come visit us soon!

Lukas Vogt


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