Luther College junior Bishal Parajuli spent his summer in Decorah working with the Iowa Natural Heritage foundation, where he maintained and restored native landscapes in Northeast Iowa.
Parajuli, the son of Bhola and Sushma Parajuli of Kathmandu, Nepal, is a 2013 graduate of Xavier College. At Luther he is majoring in art and biology.
Much of Parajuli's work was focused on land management and restoration of reconstructed prairies, woodlands, oak savannahs and other natural areas. This included an emphasis on invasive species control, stream bank stabilization, firebreak construction and prairie seed collection. He explained, "Removing Eastern Red Cedars from hill prairies, thinning oak woodlands of fire-intolerant tree species and pulling Wild Parsnip, Garlic Mustard, Queen Anne's Lace, Yellow Sweet Clover, etc., from reconstructed prairies were examples of some of the important restoration work that we performed."
Parajuli believes that his internship has allowed for him to learn more about his passion for nature. "During the internship, I learned that I enjoy life the most when I am interacting with nature, and this is something I want to do for the rest of my life," he says.
Parajuli believes that his experience has broadened his perspective towards conservation and restoration and has equipped him with skills necessary for his future career. "Just by talking with people who are experts in this field and interacting with landowners and hearing their personal stories I have come to realize that conservation and restoration are extremely important today," he said.
Approximately 10 percent of Luther students take an internship for academic credit each academic year. The Luther College Career Center assists students with their internship search through resume preparation, networking, online internship searches, career fairs, on-campus interviewing, and connecting the student to alumni through the college's Alumni Internship Program. Students also meet with a faculty adviser prior to the internship to create an internship learning plan that includes learning goals and assessment benchmarks. An internship work supervisor assists in the process by writing an evaluation of the student at the end of the internship. Students also complete a self-reflection form to help finalize the learning experience.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.