Antioch Welcomes a New Year and New Faces


The start of a new semester brought new friends to Antioch High’s Earth Team largely due to the success of peer presentations and recruitment in December. After the first month back, it’s safe to say that every new member is integrating well with the organizational culture of Earth Team’s Sustainable Youth Internship program. Everyone on the team has done an outstanding job of demonstrating the level of dedication and commitment expected of an Earth Team intern.


In January, Antioch interns participated in various activities that included team building, professional development, environmental awareness, and STEM learning. Thanks to the leadership exhibited by all our returning interns, all team members are displaying greater confidence and ability to complete technical-based tasks. New interns were trained by their fellow Earth Team peers on how to complete litter assessments using NOAA’s Marine Debris Tracker App as well as how to conduct water quality tests at the Upper Sand Creek Basin. Together the team has been brainstorming potential research questions for a research project which will be presented at the annual GLOBE Student Research Symposium in April.


This semester interns will continue their data collection and restoration work at the Upper Sand Creek Basin in addition to working at the Antioch Dunes–a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Stay tuned to learn more about our new members and stay updated with all the exciting events coming up this semester in Antioch!




Presenting to Peers at Antioch High School


For several weeks Earth Team interns at Antioch High School planned to present to their peers about the work they’ve completed with Earth Team. Throughout the semester interns participated in several public speaking activities and exercises to prepare them for events such as this one.

During their presentations, interns informed their peers about the extensive water quality data they have collected at the Upper Sand Creek Basin, the collaboration to remove invasive plant species with Earth Team Pinole, and the campus litter they’ve been tracking using NOAA’s Marine Debris Tracker App.

Several of the students they presented to showed interest in joining Earth Team and have since applied to be a part of the program. We are looking forward to welcoming new interns in January.

Monitoring Water Quality at the Upper Sand Creek Basin

Michael conducting a dissolved oxygen test.

This Fall, Earth Team interns at Antioch High School have been monitoring water quality at the Upper Sand Creek Basin. Water that enters the basin comes from two locations: Sand Creek and local storm drain systems. The Upper Sand Creek Basin was a project created by the Contra Costa Flood Control District to restore natural habitats along Sand Creek and to retain floodwaters during extreme rainstorms to prevent flooding in the communities of Antioch, Brentwood, and Oakley. Earth Team interns have completed water quality testing at both inlets as well as the single outlet of the basin. They have shown so much enthusiasm and dedication for this project that interns did not seem to mind being at the basin on a rainy Saturday morning to complete data collection for the Fall semester! Interns frequently confess that collecting water quality data is among one of their favorite activities to do in the field. It’s great to see interns putting their STEM skills to the test. We’re all looking forward to a complete analysis of their results later on this year.



Antioch Teams Up with Pinole Valley at the Upper Sand Creek Basin

Antioch and Pinole Valley interns after a hard day of work removing Stinkwort

Interns from Antioch and Pinole Valley High School teamed up for a Saturday field day at the Upper Sand Creek Basin. Their task for the day was to remove the invasive plant species called “Stinkwort.” Early Fall is the best season for tackling this invader as the plant is still green and has not yet started to flower. These conditions lessen the risk of spreading seeds across the field site which can further produce new Stinkwort plants next season.

Emma feeling satisfied after uprooting a large Stinkwort plant

Interns worked tirelessly on that sunny afternoon. After 3 hours of weed pulling and a much-needed lunch break, interns wrapped up their efforts and bagged up the Stinkwort. In total, they collected a volume of 1000 gallons of Stinkwort plants that day! This large number goes to show how invasive this plant really is. Great work interns!


Antioch Earth Team is Back at the Upper Sand Creek Basin

Michael and Delaney collecting water quality data at the Upper Sand Creek Basin

October 16th marked the return of Antioch Earth Team interns to the Upper Sand Creek Basin. Interns used GLOBE Hydrosphere and Atmosphere protocols to define their study site and collect their first samples of water quality data. For most interns, it was their first time ever visiting the Upper Sand Creek Basin. A biologist from Nomad Ecology met with interns to introduce them to the field site and help them identify the invasive species called “Stinkwort.” Interns will have the task of removing this invasive plant species from the Upper Sand Creek Basin this Fall. Many interns expressed that they were excited to finally be out in the field and look forward to the work we will be doing there.

Delaney, a returning intern, shared some thoughts on her visit to the Upper Sand Creek Basin:

“My first impression of the Upper Sand Creek Basin was, “wow this place is really hot!” The most interesting thing I saw there was a dead bird. We were able to identify a few weeds using an invasive species guide. I’m looking forward to more water testing because I think that’s fun. The basin is very dry right now, but full of life with lots of potential for improvement. One thing I hope to do this year at the Upper Sand Creek Basin is to clean more litter, but avoid getting 13 ticks on me again!”


Student Blog: Returning to Earth Team

Samantha and Abigail using GLOBE Hydrosphere Protocols to perform a water transparency test

Returning to Earth Team for 2018-2019 is a journey that I am extremely excited to make again. Upon joining the internship I have created lifelong memories and taken advantages of opportunities that would have otherwise not been presented to me. Being a part of Earth Team has given me a greater chance at acquiring job experience. I have been able to obtain greater public speaking and leadership skills while working with a community I am comfortable with and still being pushed past my comfort zones. Some personal goals that have arisen from being a part of Earth Team include that of pursuing my environmental science interests when it is soon time for me to take off for college. Being a part of Earth Team has helped me to figure out types of things I would like to study and the sorts of careers I would like to pursue in which I will build my life from. Earth Team is much more to me that an internship and a place to work, it is a way for me to contribute to my community and give back to the world in which we live in. I feel a lot more comfortable in the outdoors now, even more than I was before Earth Team. I feel like I can teach my nephew, my younger cousins, as well as the rest of my family to learn to be respectful of the environment and hopefully create a better future for themselves and future generations.

-Samantha, Earth Team intern at Antioch High School

Meet the Antioch Earth Team Interns!


Abigail Gamble – My name is Abby. I joined Earth Team last year because I love nature and I wanted to protect our environment. I enjoyed it so much last year that I joined again! This year I’m excited to continue our projects, go into nature, and go on the camping trips. Fun Fact: I love art and swimming.



Antonio Melhado – Hi my name is Antonio. I’m a senior at Antioch High School. This is my first year as an Earth Team intern. Some of the reasons I joined are because I want to work with my hands and I enjoy outside activities. Also, I wanted to be in a club with my brother. I’m excited to be here because I’m interested in collecting data, going on the outdoor trips, and helping the environment. I love being outdoors and playing with animals.


Delaney DeMarco – My name is Delaney, I’m a second year Earth Team intern. I joined Earth Team because I like to help out my community. I really like helping out with Earth Team because I find the work interesting. Fun Fact: My birthday is on October 16.


Evelyn Ninahuanca – Hi my name is Evelyn and I’m 14 years old in 10th grade. I joined Earth Team because it seemed interesting to me. Some skills I’m good at include helping others.


Justin Fernandez – Hi my name is Justin. I’m a sophomore at Antioch High School. I’m a first year Earth Team intern. I am a kind person who likes the environment and likes to help in any way I can. I’m a family man with a good attitude. I like to get the job done and done right. Nature is my calling.


Marco Dominguez – I’m a senior at Antioch High. I really enjoy music. I’ve been playing guitar for one year and a half. I decided to rejoin Earth Team because it is a really great experience.


Michael Chatham – Hi, my name is Michael, I’m a Junior. It is my second year as an intern and I am excited for the extended trips that we will be taking this year. I joined this year to help with the environment around me.


Natalie Sandoval – Hi my name is Natalie, I’m 15 years old in 10th grade. What I’m most excited about joining Earth Team is learning new things about the environment and doing many activities.


Natalyia Johnson – Hi my name is Natalyia. This is my second year in Earth Team. I re-joined because Earth Team gives out many opportunities such as making new friends. Fun Fact: I have naturally red hair.


Russell Reed – My name is Russell and I am a senior at Antioch High School. I was a part of Earth Team before as a sophomore. A lot of people I knew were a part of the internship and I absolutely loved it. I enjoy music, computers, and motor-sports. Fun Fact: I am part of a pit crew!


Sabrina Lozano – Hi, I’m Sabrina! This is my first year of being an Earth Team intern. I’m a senior at Antioch High School. I joined Earth Team because I want to help the environment and I want to meet new people. Fun Fact: I want to become a geologist.


Sage Bennett – Hi, my name is Sage and I am a senior at Antioch High School. This is my second year in Earth Team and what I enjoy most about being an intern is connecting with nature and then using that driving force to advocate for environmental awareness. Besides Earth Team I also love musical theater (singing and acting) and I love to be involved. I’m involved in CSF, Interact, Musical Theater, Choir, Colorguard, and even Youtube…when I’m not eating food. We only have one home, so we should safeguard it. I’m extremely excited for opportunities to enlist my passions that will lead me on the path to eventually turn my dreams into realities.


Samantha Baniega – My name’s Samantha and I’m a returning intern from Earth Team 17-18. I joined Earth Team initially to gain work experience and work in the environment to do restoration work, but as I continued to do work with the internship I discovered an even greater love and respect for my environment. I’m excited to venture outdoors and do our best to preserve the world and keep it healthy. Fun Fact: I love traveling and going to concerts with my sister. I also enjoy playing my ukulele and jamming out.


Santino Melhado – Earth Teams seems like a good new learning experience. What I hope to get out of this internship is to meet new people, learn new skills, and just have an overall good experience. I consider myself an all around helpful guy.

Earth Team Kicks Off Another Year at Antioch High School

Earth Team is back at Antioch High School for another year of hard work and fun! This year Itzel will be the campus coordinator for Earth Team interns at Antioch High.

Our team spent the first meeting getting to know one another, participating in team building activities, setting group agreements for the year, and learning about program logistics. Students shared that they are most excited about the multitude of outdoor activities planned this year. 

We look forward to the great year ahead of us at Antioch High School!


Celebrating A Year of Victories with Antioch Earth Team

IMG_0418The year has come to an end! This year Antioch Earth Team met 42 times, completing over 120 hours of education and training. Meetings including 22 class visits, 17 field visits, and a public event that they hosted! Together, we reached over 334 community members and classmates.  The team planted 295 native plants, administered 30 water quality tests, and removed 8,300 square feet of invasive species!

The highlights of our project were..

  • Freshman Field Trip to the Antioch Dunes: Interns, in partnership with US Fish and Wildlife Service professionals, lead a day long field trip to the Antioch Dunes.  Participants include freshmen from the high school’s Environmental Science Academy, and activities included invasive removal, native plantings, and lunch on the beach.


  • Earth Day at the Upper Sand Creek Basin: Interns worked with the Contra Costa Flood Control District, the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, Friends of Marsh Creek, and the Office of Supervisor Diane Burgis to plan and host a community Earth Day event at the Upper Sand Creek Basin.  Over 85 community members attended and helped with restoration efforts including a litter clean-up competition, native plantings, and invasive species removal.


  • GLOBE Pacific Student Research Symposium at NASA Ames: After spending many field visits collecting water quality data at the Upper Sand Creek Basin, interns were able to share their findings with peers and NASA researchers at the GLOBE symposium held at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.


  • Spring LEAF at Slide Ranch: Nearly half of the team attended the spring camping event at Slide Ranch over Memorial Day weekend, marking a fantastic end to an amazing year!


Great job Antioch interns!