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Student Intern Spotlights | Summer 2016

James Penn, II | Marengo County

James Penn is a Pathways intern with NRCS in Alabama.James Michael Penn II is originally from Huntsville, AL. He graduated from Sparkman High School, where he played football as a defensive lineman for four years.  James currently attends Alabama A&M University where he is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Forestry.

He is also a member of the Forestry Club. James is expected to graduate in the spring of 2017. In his spare time, James enjoys fishing and hunting.

As an intern this summer, James will be assisting at the Marengo and Wilcox County Field Offices, participating in practice certifications, performing annual watershed inspections, assisting with WRE annual monitoring, supporting the Pursley Creek 319 project and facilitating meetings with contract holders preparing for contract reviews.


Jacqueline Martin | Morgan County

Jacqueline Martin is a Pathways intern in Alabama.Jacqueline Nicole Martin was born and raised in Harvest, Alabama. She is a 2013 graduate of Sparkman High School, where she earned a 3.52/4.0 GPA and was ranked in the top 10% of her class. While at Sparkman, Jacqueline was an active member of the student body and a ranked state player in girls’ basketball. Some of her top honors and awards include: National Junior Honor Society (2009), Beta Club (2010), National Society of High School Scholars (2011-2013), National Honor & Merit Scholars Society (2011-2013), Girls Varsity Basketball Team Academic Award (2011-2012), All-Area Girls Basketball (2013), All-Metro Girls Basketball (2013), Delta Sigma Theta Academic Award (2012), Sparkman High School A/B Honor Roll (2012, 2013), National Youth Leadership Scholar (2011-2013), National High School Presidential Inaugural Scholar (2013), National Society of Black Engineers Timothy Briggs Leadership Award (2013), and Miss Sparkman High School 2013.

Prior to entering Tuskegee University in the fall of 2013, Jacqueline was selected as a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Scholar. Since this time, she has been committed to pursuing both her academic and professional career through the opportunities offered exclusively by the USDA. She is currently a rising senior at Tuskegee University and has declared a double major in Environmental Science and Computer Science. Aside from academics, she is a member of the women’s basketball team, Alabama Alliance for Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (AASD STEM), National Society of Black Engineers and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Read More.


Jaylan Hancock | Madison County

Jaylan HancockMy name is Jaylan Hancock from Clay County, TN and I am currently the Soil Science Trainee in the Normal, Alabama MRLA office on the campus of Alabama A&M University. I am attending Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN, where I am currently a junior in the field of Environmental Agriscience and will graduate in December 2017.

I serve as Vice President of the School of Agriculture’s Ag Council and am also president of the Environmental Conservation Club. I have been on the Soil Judging Team at Tennessee Tech for the last two years. I achieved the goal of placing 5th in the 2016 National Soils Judging competition held at Kansas State.

I am also an active member of the Collegiate FFA club, Delta Tau Alpha (Agriculture Honor Society), and the Block & Bridle Club. Some of my hobbies are include: hunting, fishing, spending time with family and just about anything outdoors really.

This summer, I have been building upon my knowledge of the soil and learning how to better communicate that knowledge to others, also I have been learning how to work ArcGIS and how to use the database to accurately describe and locate pedons based on the soil survey books to accurately accumulate the correct data is being accounted for. This is my first summer with NRCS under MLRA Project Leader, Chris Ford. I look forward to a career with such a great agency where I can continue to grow and broaden my horizons.


Cedric Williams | Marshall County

Cedric WilliamsCedric Williams is a native of Beatrice, AL, a small town located in North Monroe County. He is an alumni of J. F. Shields High School. In December 2013, Cedric earned his B.S. degree in Agribusiness Management with a minor in Geographical Information Systems from Alabama A&M University (AAMU). He is currently pursuing a M.S. degree in Environmental Sciences and plans to graduate with his graduate degree on July 31, 2016.

Williams completed a thesis (The Influence of Agricultural Practices on Water Quality in Limestone Watershed, AL) while pursuing his Master’s Degree. Chapters of his thesis will be made for publication later this year in scholarly journals.

Williams is a diligent scholar and has received distinction for Dean's List and Honor Roll. In addition to his academic pursuits, Cedric participated on Alabama A&M University's football program during all four years of undergrad.

Currently, Williams works on NRCS Alabama's North Team as a Pathways student intern in Scottsboro/Guntersville, AL. He assists staff with survey, design, implementation and checkout of conservation practices as well as mapping and making of conservation plans.



Daniel Williams | Etowah County

Daniel WilliamsDaniel Williams is a student at Auburn University. Williams is a senior studying agronomy and soils. He plans to graduate this December. Williams is interning in our USDA-NRCS Field Office in Gadsden, Alabama this summer. He is learning to assist with certification and payment on practices, survey and layout of a 28 acre irrigation pond, HEL determination, and developing and implementing conservation plans.

In his free time, Williams enjoys hunting, hiking, water skiing, working on his family’s 140 acre farm, serving as a member of Auburn University’s Ducks Unlimited committee, participating in the Civic Men’s softball league in Boaz, AL, and serving as a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Sardis City, AL.








Randi Butler | Madison County

Randi ButlerRandi Butler is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She attends the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, where she is currently pursuing her Master’s degree and specializing in Hydrology. She will gradate with a Masters of Natural Resources in this coming fall. Randi received her Bachelors of Science degree in 2012 from Columbus State University in Columbus, GA. Her major was Geology. She has been interning with NRCS since the summer of 2014. During those summers, Randi has been placed in several field offices located in Cuthbert, Georgia with District Conservationist Karen Reese, Tuskegee, AL with District Conservationist Chris Joe, and now Huntsville, AL with District Conservationist Joyce Lane.

While in the Huntsville Field Office, Randi has been learning how to classify Highly Erodible Lands, utilize the Toolkit software to collect and analyze data and map drawing, navigating through the nine steps of Conservation Planning, accompany field office personnel in meeting with local landowners to conduct field visits for planning and evaluation, and attended multiple workshops/conferences. She recently attended training for new employees and pathway interns in Madison and Morgan Counties, which included information on grazing, surveying, conservation planning, drainage areas, soil testing, and nutrient management. 

Randi's hobbies include hiking, nature walks, playing with her dog Dexter, reading, traveling and visiting friends. Randi says, “I really enjoy the NRCS. This is my 3rd summer working and every time I learn something new and experience things that I never would have outside of this internship. I really enjoy working with the NRCS and I plan on continuing to do so upon graduation in December.”


Trey Reich | Baldwin County

Trey ReichThe Loxley Soil Survey Office (SSO) would like to welcome and introduce Ray (Trey) Allen Reich as a Pathways Student and a School of Geosciences intern for the summer of 2016.

Trey is a senior from the University of Lafayette at Louisiana with a major in Geosciences / Soil and Water Conservation and he enjoys volunteering, visiting state parks, and reading.

During this summer, Trey will be gaining experience at the Loxley SSO with NASIS Database entries, Soil Survey Update Mapping, Soil Classification/Correlation, Soil Investigations/Field Data, Soil Map Digitizing, and Soil Survey Applications.

Also, as his major indicates, he will hope to gain additional experience with the Field Office Staff assisting with site visits and application of conservation practices.

Trey's past experience with NRCS has been with the Denham Springs Soil Survey Office in the summer of 2014 as a Pathways Student.


Tomeesa Shedd | Cullman County

Tomeesa SheddThis summer, the Cullman Soil and Water Conservation District is pleased to have Tomeesa Shedd as an intern. Tomeesa is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy and Soils at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.

“When I first started Auburn I was pursuing an Agricultural Economics degree, but I soon realized that business was not for me.  I decided to change my major to Agronomy and Soils. I knew that this was the path I wanted to follow because I wanted to be more hands-on with crops and be outdoors more rather than confined to a desk and office”, said Tomeesa Shedd.

As an intern, Tomeesa will assist in 319 Project development and delivery, education programs development and delivery, public relations, administrative/office duties, networking, assist NRCS/CCCD in field work for conservation BMPs, and other duties as determined.

Tomeesa grew up on a Cullman County row crop farm.  For the past three years, she has helped her dad by running errands, cleaning, moving and running the equipment.  She helps run the tractors used for planting and spraying and running the module builder when it’s time to gather cotton. Her other responsibility was to keep check on 200 stocker steers.

"My job is to feed them and make sure the steers are not wandering outside of the fence. By doing these various jobs, I have learned that every day is different and always expect the unexpected!"