2023 Internship wrap-up

2023 Internship wrap-up

Above: We took advantage of a rare moment in July when the whole team was in the same place at the same time to get a photo. Even so, we missed Angela DesVeaux, who was out for the summer on maternity leave. From left: Brad Weigel, Sara York, Jim Grenier, Joan Ray, Tim Holt, Susan Takano, Gunnar Nurme, Tahlia Mullen, Steven Hufnagel, Allyson Blake, Hannah McGhee, and Sarah Gladu.

Farewell Tim, Tahlia, and Sara

We love our interns! In addition to contributing in significant ways to Coastal Rivers’ work in conservation, stewardship, and education, interns bring fresh perspective, lots of enthusiasm, and welcome energy to our team.

Of course, we very much hope that our interns benefit equally from their experiences here. Coastal Rivers internships are paid. We also provide housing for our interns, thanks to the generous gift of a home in Newcastle that was part of the estate of Ken Schaller. Affordable housing in this area is in very short supply, and having a place to offer helps us attract strong candidates.

Practical matters aside, Coastal Rivers interns also enjoy a deep dive into the world of non-profit conservation work. They attend team meetings and events, take on independent projects, and participate in discussions, decision-making, trainings and programs. We strive to involve interns in as many facets of the work as possible, and truly value their engagement, creativity and ideas.

This year, we had the pleasure of working with three interns: Stewardship Intern Tim Holt, Climate Strategy and Conservation Fellow Tahlia Mullen, and Education Intern Sara York.

Tim HoltTim Holt

A graduate of Henderson State’s Recreation department, Tim joined us in May as our Stewardship intern through a program with Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

Throughout an exceptionally wet and steamy summer, Tim spent most days outside, working on the grounds and trails here at Round Top Farm or at another of our many preserves. He learned many new skills: how to operate vehicles such as a tractor, utility vehicle, and dump truck, and how to safely run a chainsaw.

Of his time here, Tim reflected, “I get to spend 8-10 hours a day in nature, preserving the natural world, and witnessing beautiful sights while working on projects that have an actual impact on the world, not just on the organization. What an amazing concept, right?”

Tim recently left us to return to Henderson State, where he plans to continue his successful competitive swimming career while he works toward a postgraduate Master of Business Administration degree.

Tahlia MullenTahlia Mullen

Tahlia joined the Coastal Rivers team in January. A Walpole native, she graduated from Dartmouth College recently with a degree in Government and Environmental Studies. Inspired in part by the very first goal in our 2021 Strategic Plan – to confront climate change – Tahlia helped shape her role as our Climate Strategy and Conservation Fellow. Over an eight-month period, Tahlia worked with a consultant and Coastal Rivers staff to help guide the organization through the long and thoughtful process of developing our ambitious five-year climate plan.

While she was here, Tahlia also took on writing press releases, contributed to the website, and assisted with land conservation projects, among other things. A consummate researcher and scholar, Tahlia is also a meticulous writer, and made sure our commas were in all the right places!

Earlier this month, Tahlia departed for Edinburgh, Scotland, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Policy.

Sara YorkSara York

Sara York joined us in May as our Education Intern. She divided her time between two elements of our education programming: Courtesy Boat Inspections and interpretation at the Beachcombers’ Discovery Center at Pemaquid Beach Park (and also filled in at Camp Mummichog from time to time!)

As a Courtesy Boat Inspector, Sara served as a first line of defense in keeping invasive aquatic plants from entering our local waterways. This role saw her stationed at the Pemaquid Pond public boat ramp every morning, Wednesday through Sunday, all summer long, to talk with boaters about invasive aquatic plants and offer to inspect their boats for any unwanted bits of plant “hitchhikers.” Even small pieces of these non-native invasive plants can grow and reproduce and quickly take over large areas of lakes and ponds, choking out native plants and wildlife.

At the Beachcombers’ Discovery Center, Sara welcomed visitors, offered information, designed and installed new interpretative materials, and assisted volunteer Ellen Durgin with the Touch Tank every Thursday.

Sara is a student at the University of Maine at Orono and is projected to graduate next spring with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences.

We are so grateful for all that Tim, Tahlia, and Sara contributed during the months they were here, and we wish them well in all their future endeavors!