Summer will be long remembered for six high school students from the Science and Math Institute in Tacoma, Washington this year. Interns from the Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program, they are busy helping restore the places and animals you care about in New Mexico.
Working alongside Conservancy scientists, the students are maintaining trails, performing animal surveys, sampling invertebrates and more at Santa Fe Canyon and Valles Valdera National preserves. They are also assisting with bird banding in Bandelier National Monument, and helping with an Audubon summer youth camp at the Randall Davey Center.
We’re very excited to have them here and to share their stories with you. Here’s a glimpse at who they are and how they plan to put lessons learned into action!
Michael Anderson hopes to start a green business and make people more environmentally conscious by selling green products. He believes his LEAF internship will not only allow him to gain a deeper love and knowledge of conservation, but that the field work will help condition him—mentally and physically. Michael also hopes to gain life-long friends this summer and, in his spare time, you can find him playing the piano or participating in musicals.
Dylan Grace Wells
Dylan’s love of nature was passed down from his environmentally conscious family. In school he enjoys the three “E”s—english, engineering and entomology—and he belongs to the Tacoma High School Engineering Test Alliance, a group that provides free research and development to companies. Dylan aims to help the environment by redirecting how people think of technology. If you can’t find him, he’s likely relaxing in the forest, listening to nature and thinking.
Seeking a break from constant city noise, Timothy loves being in nature. His favorite school subjects include biology and chemistry, and he’s always been interested in wildlife—so it’s no surprise that he plans on being a field zoologist. Timothy is also a member of the Science and Match Institute’s Envirothon Club, where he competes with other schools on environmental knowledge. In his spare time, he plays lacrosse and is a Boy Scout.
Connor has camped with his family and friends since a very young age, learning that regular exposure to nature and the wilderness calms his mind. He wants to share his love and respect for the environment with others. One way he hopes to do that is by applying an eco-friendly aspect to his future career in computer science or business, as he understands these fields can greatly impact the planet.
Inspired by his father and his work ethic, Carlos believes the LEAF program will help him become a more positive influence and addition to the planet. He expects to learn a lot about conservation this summer and is most excited about leaving his comfort zone and experiencing new things—and telling his family and friends all about them!
Adalberto plans on becoming a mechanical engineer so he can build machines that don’t harm animals, plants or habitats. His favorite school subjects are history, math and science—and anything related to the environment. For the past four years, Adalberto’s been a member of the 3 ROV Club, where he helps create underwater robots. Maybe he has a future in freshwater or marine conservation?
Want to see where other LEAF teams are working and how they’re helping nature? Explore the map.
Interested in joining LEAF? See how the program works.