SACRAMENTO, Calif. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District's Jonathan Whipple is back in town after spending three weeks at the Corps' Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Even though he was more than 2,000 miles away, his focus never left home.
While at ERDC, he helped organize and process Sacramento River dredge samples—interpreting spectra, preparing standards, managing data and, a necessary task of every chemist, cleaning glassware.
"The definition of the Department of the Army's intern program is to learn how the Corps of Engineers works as a whole, to reduce what I like to call the 'tunnel vision effect,'" says Whipple. "I planned my ERDC rotation to coincide with Sacramento District’s dredging samples, because I thought it would be interesting to process the samples from my home section."
Whipple is one of the district's highly-coveted Department of the Army interns, currently serving in the district's geology section until August, when he will then head to environmental design—his fifth office rotation.
After serving five years in the U.S. Navy, and earning an environmental chemistry degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, he came straight to the Sacramento District.
It's been non-stop rotations ever since.
Whipple's career goals are to become a project chemist at the Sacramento District and apply for the SMART (Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation scholarship) program to gain his master’s or doctorate degree in environmental chemistry.
Whipple is appreciative of the support he's found in Sacramento and has become one of its most recent rising stars.
"The Army has some amazing programs and I would like to take advantage of the opportunities available to me,” adds Whipple.
For more on Corps career internship opportunities, please visit: http://www.usace.army.mil/Careers/Internships.aspx
Jonathan Whipple, an environmental chemist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, receives a certificate of appreciation in March of 2015 from Jack Davis (second from left), director of environmental laboratories at the Corps' Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Whipple spent three weeks at ERDC processing the district's Sacramento River dredge-material during one of his Department of the Army internship rotations. (U.S. Army courtesy photo/Released)