KU News Release

Feb. 18, 2011
Contact: Christie Appelhanz, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 785-864-3516

KU senior selected for prestigious National Geographic internship

Julia Guard

More Information

LAWRENCE — A senior at the University of Kansas has been selected from hundreds of applicants across the country for a prestigious internship with the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.

Julia Guard, of Lawrence, will begin the three-month internship in September after graduating with a bachelor’s in geography and a minor in business.

With five to eight fellow interns, Guard will be assigned work for a division of the National Geographic Society. Duties could range from working on the website, magazine, special projects or education. In the past, interns’ work has been included in National Geographic magazine.

“National Geographic is such an attractive company brand and they have such positive name recognition,” Guard said. “They’re always doing groundbreaking research, and people respond well to quality photographs they produce.”

Guard works as an intern for the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets at KU. At CReSIS, Guard has created digital maps of Greenland and Antarctica. Some of her duties during the National Geographic internship are expected to build on this experience.

“CReSIS work has been published twice in National Geographic, so there could be some overlap,” Guard said.

The National Geographic Society considers outstanding seniors, college graduates and master’s students for internships. Guard compiled a thorough application package last October. Garth Myers, professor of geography, has worked with Guard as she prepares for the internship.

“The society often serves as a major stepping stone for the best geography undergraduates into geography-related careers or into the best geography graduate programs,” Myers said. “I don’t know which way Julia will go, but I predict she will go far with her geography degree and the experience she gains at NGS.”

During her years at KU, Guard was a member of the women’s rowing team. She studied abroad in South Africa and Northern Ireland. Guard’s time in South Africa was especially transformative as it inspired her undergraduate thesis, which addresses transmission networks of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. Guard cites her experiences abroad as pivotal in her preparation for the challenges of the internship.

“Going on study abroad was the single-most changing aspect of my college career,” Guard said. “I believe travel, whether metaphysical or physical, is a great way to break out of your ignorance.”

Guard expects her experience at National Geographic Society will propel her forward professionally and personally.

“It will give me a little substance,” she said. “You spend so many years being idealistic as an undergraduate. It validates everything I’ve been working on.”

Guard is the daughter of Roger Guard of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Kimberly and Danny Anderson of Lawrence. She is a graduate of Lawrence Free State High School.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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