Several MoDNR 2023 interns and their MoDNR mentors
A handful of interns we were able to catch in Jefferson City, along with their mentors.

Today's interns are tomorrow's leaders, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' 2023 interns are no exception! We've been fortunate to have a great group of interns serving with us this summer in our internship program. There are a lot of good things happening throughout the department. Our interns went above and beyond, working hard and showing of their skills. As a group, these interns are eager to help and participated on projects, no matter how large or small, with a positive attitude and the ability to learn in the moment. The department recognizes and celebrates our 2023 interns. 

2023 MoDNR Interns

  • Travis Barbour, University of Central Missouri
  • Madeline Barth, University of Missouri - Columbia
  • Elsie Bax, Ozarks Technical Community College
  • Austin Brewer, University of Missouri
  • Samantha Giblin, Washington University School of Law
  • Lucah Gordon, Truman State University
  • Eugene Gyawu, Missouri S&T (Doctorate and Masters) and University of Mines & Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana (Bachelors)
  • Gwendolyn Hebert, University of Missouri - Columbia
  • Ruth Hollander, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • Hannah Houston, Southeast Missouri State University
  • Sidni Hunter, Missouri Valley College
  • Steve Johnson, Missouri S&T
  • Faith Kinkelaar
  • Samuel Knupp, University of Iowa
  • Alec Krumm, University of Missouri - Columbia
  • Thomas Masterson, University of Missouri - Columbia
  • Donald Melton, University of Missouri - Kansas City
  • James Meyer, Missouri S&T
  • Lilian Mix, University of Missouri - Columbia
  • Elizabeth Nahach, Truman State University
  • Cecilia Nottingham, North Carolina State University
  • Jack Parks, Southeast Missouri State University
  • Elizabeth Reiher, University of Missouri School of Law
  • Alicia Simmons, Maryville University
  • Megan Snyder, University of Central Missouri
  • Ralph Waltz    
  • Jeremy Wease, University of Missouri
  • Jeffrey Wegs, University of Missouri - Columbia
  • Devin Wilkerson, Linn State Tech
  • Caleb Wilson, University of Missouri - Columbia
  • Wyatt Yarbrough, Three Rivers College

Intern Spotlight

Our interns are essential to our MoDNR team! Below are a handful of examples, highlighting what our interns have been able to collaborate and accomplish this year. 

Elsie Bax, Ozarks Technical Community College

Elsie Bax, Intern
Elsie Bax

Elsie Bax joined our Air Program's Compliance/ Enforcement team for the summer and it’s been great having her here. Elsie attends Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri, and is majoring in Business Communications with a focus on Environmental Studies. She is passionate about preserving our environment and became interested in the department when she did a job shadow with the department in the spring of 2022. Elsie has had the opportunity to contribute in a variety of ways to the important work we do and learn in a practical way how we protect and preserve our environment and natural resources. Elsie rechecked the regulatory responsibilities assigned to each staff member and made suggestions on reassignment to better align the regulatory responsibilities. Elsie researched past closed cases to compile their penalty assessments for easier data pulls and sorting. She used this information to begin creating a penalty calculation guidance, which will help streamline penalty assessments in the future. Elsie also assisted with data input in the Asbestos Notifications database to test the demolition and courtesy notification surveys and learn how we track and account for demolition and asbestos abatement projects throughout the state. Elsie was also given the opportunity to participate in various tours of facilities, such as drinking water and wastewater facilities and environmental remediation projects. These provided her with the opportunity to get her boots on the ground and see what goes on in the field. The department's Air Pollution Control Program sends a big "Thank You" to Elsie for her contributions, which have really made a difference for our team and for the citizens of our state!!

Samantha Giblin, Washington University School of Law

Samantha Giblin, Intern
Samantha Giblin

Samantha is entering her second year of law school at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri. She helped pilot a new program between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Attorney General's Office, where she spent the first half of her summer with the department’s General Counsel’s Office and the second half with the Attorney General's Office working on MoDNR litigation matters. While Samantha was with the department, she worked on various legal assignments, including a constitutional budget question, drafting a response for the Eastern District Court of Appeals about a mining permit appeal, reviewing property deeds for a State Parks matter, analyzing the legal implications of installing cameras onto monitoring sites, and reviewing the various legal definitions of unintentional overflows from wastewater treatment plant bypasses for the purpose of potentially revising Standard Conditions for wastewater treatment plant enforcement cases. Overall, Samantha was a pleasure to work with, was very good at problem solving and crafting well-researched/ well-reasoned legal responses to the various questions posed by legal counsel. She was extremely professional in her prompt communication and respect towards others. The department's General Counsel's Office wishes Samantha the best as she continues through law school and becomes a practicing attorney and hopes that she will consider working for the State in the future.

Lucah Gordon, Truman State University

Lucah Gordon, Intern
Lucah Gordon

Lucah Gordon is a fifth-year Truman State University student, studying political science and international relations. Lucah has been an intern for the Director's Office this summer and has been primarily focused on researching and drafting guidance for a department-wide internal-facing public outreach plan. This involved contacting other states' employees, interviewing department Program Directors about their regulations governing public outreach, and interviewing State Parks team members regarding their daily interactions with the public. Lucah also worked on other various projects for the department's communications team and General Counsel's Office. Overall, Lucah has tackled a complicated, multifaceted assignment with determination and grace, showing a knack for work with policy and the requisite skills to become a successful policy advisor in the future. The department's Director's Office wishes the best for Lucah and a bright future career in the public sector.

Samuel Knupp, University of Iowa

MoDNR intern Sam Knupp taking photos at Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Sam Knupp

Samuel Knupp is starting his final semester at the University of Iowa, where he will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. During his time as a communications intern for Missouri State Parks, Sam produced videos about various parks, wrote articles for the website as well as Missouri Resources, and cranked out numerous press releases about parks events. In his video production efforts, Sam was tasked with writing scripts, traveling to the parks, getting footage, editing said footage, recording voiceovers and assembling a product that is palatable to all demographics. These videos will be used on the website, while shorter clips will be used on our social media platforms. As an avid musician, Sam took an interest in the musical side of state parks, writing articles about Lee Mace’s bass fiddle, which sits in the Missouri State Museum, and articles about the Scott Joplin State Historic Site and the history of ragtime. Sam was a Brobdingnagian asset to the communications team at Missouri State Parks and also introduced his supervisor to a new word, which happens to be the fourth word of this sentence. He brought a sense of humor that was always funny, and never, even for a second, got old. The team at Missouri State Parks, along with the MoDNR communications team, wish Sam the absolute best as he continues his journey in writing, video production and music. They (especially his supervisor) would love for him to consider a job with us.