UT student to intern at National Geographic Society

April 25, 2012 | News, UToday
By Feliza Casano

A University of Toledo geography and planning student has been awarded a competitive summer internship with the National Geographic Society.


Yujin Lee, a junior, will spend her summer in Washington, D.C., as one of a limited number of geography interns at the National Geographic Society. According to the scientific and educational institution’s website, the programs “are highly competitive and target students with skills and determination in fields pertinent to National Geographic’s work.”

The National Geographic Society was founded in 1888 to promote science and exploration and amass funds for expeditions around the world. The trips were publicized in National Geographic Magazine. That publication saw an explosion of subscriptions in the early 2000s with about 10 million subscribers today.

The society offers internships in photography and geography.

“Yujin’s earned the right to have this experience,” said Dr. David Nemeth, UT professor of geography and one of Lee’s advisers. “Only about 700 geography undergraduate students have participated in the internship program since it was founded, so she’s part of a fortunate few.”

Lee, a native of Bucheon, South Korea, said she is looking forward to her time in Washington, D.C., since she has only visited the nation’s capital once as a freshman for a geography conference.

“I’m very excited to go,” she said. “I know I couldn’t do this internship without help from Dr. Nemeth, Dr. Bhuiyan Alam, assistant professor of geography, and Dr. Beth Schlemper, assistant professor of geography, and I am very grateful to them.”

Lee said the internship experience will use her skills from her program at UT, where her concentration is geographic information science (GIS).

“Yujin may be assigned or maybe even volunteer to work in the museum as a researcher, or even use her specialized skills from working in our GIS lab in her internship,” Nemeth said. “Our department at UT can boast two National Geographic interns, while many universities have none.”

The Geography and Planning Department last sent a student intern to the National Geographic Society in 1996; Julie Ward wrote her master’s thesis on her experience.

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