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Interns

Every year, Nearby Nature interns contribute thousands of hours of their time and talents to our programs. From School Nature Guides to Learnscape Gardeners, from Summer Daycamp Naturalists to Restoration Project Assistants, these dedicated volunteers are vital partners in our work. Read on to learn more about our current (and recent past) crew!

 

Spring 2013 Interns

Conner ShieldsConnor Shields, Spring 2013 Learnscape Intern

What are your current life goals? -- I hope to continue learning about the natural ecology of my surroundings as well as alternative gardening techniques in an effort to slowly build my skill set in the garden. I fully believe that this field of study and practice has a lesson for everyone and should be explored by many more than it already is. Maybe after I learn a bit more I can start teaching others to consider the same practices!

What has been your favorite thing about your internship so far? -- My favorite moment so far in my Learnscape internship would have to be the compost demo we had on site with a local compost expert who also works on campus with student rec facilities. Rodney answered so many questions that day about the process of composting, its uses, and biology…as well as a "secret" compost recipe that we now use on site.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned? -- Being able to see, hear, and learn from Erin's strategic garden design concerning organic pest control, or IPM. This concept is pretty fascinating to me and I am going to modify and use it for when I start my own garden. I think that the health of vegetable/fruit consumers is likely to be much higher when the farmer uses native and diverse plant species in order to attract pest predators instead of traditional toxic pesticides.

What’s your favorite thing about Nearby Nature? -- Erin Lamb (our Park Host) is my favorite part of the entire site by far! She has been great to work with. Her enthusiasm, know-how and corkiness make her one of the most pleasant people to work alongside for any given project.

Where is your favorite place in the Learnscape? -- Standing inside the tee-pee beside the orchard!

 

Pam AbreuPam Abreu, Spring 2013 Restoration Intern

What are your current life goals? -- Since I am originally from Guatemala, my life goal is to go back and help manage natural resources (more specifically lakes and riparian areas) in the best way we can so biodiversity and water quality aren't lost. My inspiration to do this came from watching my favorite lake (Lake Atitlan) starting to get algae blooms. I decided I wanted to learn more about how to prevent these types of issues.

What has been your favorite thing about your internship so far? -- My favorite thing about this internship was getting to plant the Native Flowerbed and realizing how people that run or walk around the area truly appreciate it.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned? -- I've learned many interesting things throughout this internship, I became more familiar with native plants from the Pacific Northwest, which was one of my main goals, and I also learned a little about medicinal benefits of specific plants like the Oregon grape.

What’s your favorite thing about Nearby Nature? -- My favorite thing about Nearby Nature is all the work they do with kids. I loved watching kids excitedly walking around while doing their nature walks.

Where is your favorite place in Alton Baker Park? -- My favorite place in the park is the trails inside Wildflower Hollow.


Jenna Salazar, Spring, 2013 Learnscape Intern

What are your current life goals? -- Growing up in Colorful Colorado has made me appreciate the beauty of nature. After discovering my passion for the environment and sustainability I realized that working towards saving the environment would be my life long goal. Overall I plan to make people aware of the harmful impact our everyday actions can have on the environment and demonstrate how we can work towards a healthier planet. 

What has been your favorite thing about your internship so far? -- My favorite part about being a Learnscape intern is composting. I love the science behind turning waste, wood, and greens into nutrient rich soil.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned? -- The most interesting thing I have learned about being an intern is the 2/1/1 composting recipe.

What’s your favorite thing about Nearby Nature? -- While being an intern at Nearby Nature I enjoyed spending my time in Edible Schoolyard because I love seeing plants transform from little seeds into growing crops.

Where is your favorite place in the Learnscape? -- My favorite place in the Learnscape is The Nest. It shows the beautiful landscape while creating a fun environment for people who visit Nearby Nature. 


Sydney ClagettSydney Clagett, Spring 2013 Learnscape Intern

What are your current life goals? -- I am planning to graduate from University of Oregon next spring with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and Sociology. I then look to join the Peace Corps and eventually work for nonprofits. I have long been inspired by the activist work of my childhood hero and well-known naturalist Jeff Corwin. Though I have always had a strong love for animals, I recognized early on that without the health of the natural world, there will be no animals to save.

What has been your favorite thing about your internship so far? -- My favorite moment at the Learnscape so far was after a morning of weeding in the warm sun, I had the opportunity to enjoy a lunch of fresh radishes while sitting under a maple tree. That, and the day that Rodney Bloom came to the garden to teach the interns about compost, his excitement about the science was contagious!

What is the most interesting thing you have learned? -- The most interesting thing I have learned is how finicky squash is, and how careful one must be when handling the starts.

What’s your favorite thing about Nearby Nature? -- My absolute favorite thing about Nearby Nature is the passion these individuals have for what they do. It is clear from the instant you meet them how much they love what they do.

Where is your favorite place in the Learnscape? -- My favorite place in the park is the front garden, plenty of things to do, critters to see, fragrances to smell, and maybe a cat or two to keep you company!


Adrian Robins, Spring 2013 Learnscape Intern

Christopher Geno, Spring 2013 Learnscape Intern

Joseph Laskin, Spring 2013 Learnscape Intern

Sarah Slager, Spring 2013 Learnscape Intern


Alexis FerreraAlexis Ferrera, Spring 2013 Nature Guide Intern

What are your current life goals? -- After graduation this June I will be pursuing my life goal to work with sea turtles. I believe they play a vital role in the ocean ecosystem that needs to be explored and protected.

What has been your favorite thing about your internship so far?
-- Even though I am a University of Oregon student, this internship has given me the time to really explore Alton Baker park, and to learn about the plants and animals we find there. I've also learned how to develop skills while working with kids from all backgrounds and learning levels.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned? -- The most interesting thing I have learned while at Nearby Nature was
through the pond study activity. I had no idea that dragonflies started out as nymphs, or any idea about their interesting jaw apparatus. Learning that what we consider as the dragonfly was only the last stage in its cycle was very fascinating.

What’s your favorite thing about Nearby Nature? -- My favorite thing about working with Nearby Nature is the ability these
walks have to spark children's interest in the world around them. Each walk I lead is different for each group of kids, and finding a way to get everyone interested is a challenge I love to tackle.

Where is your favorite place in Alton Baker Park? -- My favorite place in Alton Baker Park is near what we call the turtle pond close to the 'peaceful in daylight' Kalapuya talking stone.

 

Claire MallenClaire Mallen, Spring 2013 Nature Guide Intern

What are your current life goals? -- My current life goal after graduating from school is to work at an outdoor school where I can continue to teach children how to respect the natural world around them and instill a protective nature in them.

What has been your favorite thing about your internship so far? -- My favorite aspect of the internship so far is connecting with children and watching them find interest in topics that they have never learned about before. I would love for them to remember something that I have taught them and spark their interest in nature.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned? -- The most interesting thing I have learned about the park is just how
much the park has changed through geological time. Over millions of years the Willamette has meandered across the park and I think its fun to search for evidence of that such as the round river rocks and the different terraces.

What’s your favorite thing about Nearby Nature? -- My favorite thing about Nearby Nature is that it's an outlet from the stresses of every day and becomes a place that we can find solace and connect with something that is so much bigger than us.

Where is your favorite place in Alton Baker Park? -- One of my favorite places in Alton Baker Park is the Wildflower Hollow trail in the beginning of spring. At this time all the spring flowers are in bloom and you can hear the rushing river water. It is a truly lovely place where you can forget about everything around you.

 

Johnny Dennis, Spring 2013 Program Assistant Intern

Madee Chase, Spring 2013 Nature Guide Intern

Patrick Verga, Spring 2013 Nature Guide Intern

Sam Mize, Spring 2013 Nature Guide Intern

Abby Batz, Spring 2013 Nature Guide Intern

 


 

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