Yuba Water's Previous Interns

Incredible, inspiring, fantastic, extraordinary, outstanding – these are just a few ways Yuba Water Agency's board of directors characterized the agency's 2020 summer interns during their culminating presentations to the board.

Now in its fourth year, Yuba Water’s internship program provides students hands-on work and field experience related to both the agency’s mission areas and their respective areas of study. The in-person training and field experience has been especially valuable this year as students and universities have both grappled with the challenges of replacing traditional lab and field experience with distance learning.

Read more about each of our summer interns and their contributions to the agency below:

A photo of intern Iris BookholtzIris Bookholtz (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2023) is a Yuba County native studying environmental earth and soil science with a concentration in hydrology at CalPoly San Luis Obispo. Bookholtz first learned about Yuba Water’s internship program from Vice-Chairman Brent Hastey while attending a South Yuba County Rotary meeting as a high school student. Shadowing Hydrographer Kaitlyn Chow, Bookholtz learned how to collect and process flow, depth and water quality measurements that inform the agency’s water management decisions. The experience not only reinforced her passion for hydrology and a career in science, but Bookholtz said her internship was a special opportunity for her to learn about the “awesome natural landscapes” of the Yuba River watershed.

A photo of intern Victor LandaVictor Landa (Chico State University, 2020) is a mechanical engineering major and Yuba County native who attended Lindhurst High School and Yuba College before transferring to Chico State as an honors student. Landa worked with Chief Dam Safety Engineer Tim Truong and other agency engineering team members on dam safety and hydroelectric power facility and equipment testing and inspections. His work included gathering and organizing previous inspection data into a centralized, searchable, digital database and field-verifying and converting detailed equipment drawings into accessible digital formats. His work improves the agency’s ability to monitor the performance of its dams and related critical flood risk reduction infrastructure.

 A photo of intern Anthony McKinneyAnthony McKinney (Chico State University, 2021) is a double-major undergraduate student studying German and mechatronic engineering – a combination of mechanical and electrical engineering. Working with the agency’s engineering team, McKinney worked primarily at the agency’s hydroelectric powerhouse facilities where he helped assess and implement digital instrumentation for continuous, remote monitoring and data collection. During his internship, McKinney said he grew his understanding of project management, hydroelectric power generation, flood risk reduction, environmental mitigation and “how it all fits together.” McKinney credits the experience with inspiring him to now pursue a career in energy.

A photo of intern Lindsay NeweyLindsay Newey (California State University Monterey Bay, 2022) is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in biology at California State University Monterey Bay. Newey worked with Habitat Enhancement Project Manager Jeff Mathews and Assistant Professor Sherry Palacios to assess the usefulness of tools to understand the impact of harmful algal blooms on fish in Marysville’s Ellis Lake. Newey’s research used Landsat 8 Satellite imagery of Ellis Lake and water quality sampling to understand why harmful algal blooms are happening in the lake and what steps the City of Marysville can take to improve water quality in the future. Her project laid important groundwork for future data collection, including the potential to develop a predictive model.

Collectively, 2020’s interns contributed to important ongoing projects at Yuba Water, ranging from safety inspections at New Bullards Bar Dam, real-time operations and performance monitoring, water quality data collection and analysis and more.