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Sensational Summer Interns

Two college students are helping the Conservancy in Mississippi


Meet Mariquita Lewis

"We should celebrate the benefits of nature to each of us!"

Meet Katie Mouton

Katie helps track activities like prescribed burns.

July 15, 2011

Summer ‘vacation’ can be about a lot more than soaking up sunshine at the beach.

Two talented college students joined the staff of the Conservancy in Mississippi for 10 weeks during summer 2011, gaining valuable job skills while supporting our mission of protecting and improving habitats for plants, animals and people.

Native Mississippian Mariquita Lewis, senior at Buena Vista University, has focused on developing an Outreach and Communication Plan for the chapter to better connect with diverse audiences. Mariquita’s education in filmmaking, communications and public relations complemented her experiences with Economic Development groups, writing for the web, developing marketing materials and working in the non-profit sector.

Mariquita stated, “I didn’t know much about The Nature Conservancy before applying for this internship, but I have been excited to work with an organization that is so highly regarded for its work. My job this summer is to develop a communication plan so that the Mississippi Chapter can share more broadly about the great work it does—from social media and the web and newsletters, to engaging volunteers and community leaders as well as young people. Mississippi is a great place, and we should celebrate the benefits of nature to each of us!”

Intern Katie Mouton, an Alabama native, also works for the Mississippi Field Office, but splits her time between Mississippi and Louisiana supporting the Coastal Gulf Cooperative program. Her goal is to develop a database to help staff track activities (including prescribed burns) at each of the Conservancy’s preserves. In addition to focusing on a computer screen, Katie also assists with on-the-ground activities such as the removal of invasive species (including cogongrass), thinning of trees to create more native landscapes, and documenting prescribed burns.

Said Katie, “I am able to support the Conservancy’s mission by supporting on-the-ground efforts and using technology to help track the effectiveness of the work being done. My degree in Biology from the University of Alabama gave me a great start, but it's experiences like this and last summer (when I was in Fairbanks, AK) that puts all the theory into action.”
 


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.

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