Stories in Delaware

Engaging Delaware Youth in Conservation

Interns gain professional experience while expanding the capacity of our conservation work across Delaware.

Two people pose together for a selfie. They're standing in front of a wide, shallow creek edged by trees.
Making Connections Delaware Stream Stewards Project Manager Kim Hachadoorian (L) and Alliance for Watershed Education (AWE) Fellow Saada Wig (R) on the Brandywine Creek. © Kim Hachadoorian/TNC

For some college students, summer internships mean coffee runs, making copies and filing. Not at The Nature Conservancy, where our interns provide essential support to staff and programs, expanding the capacity of our conservation work here in Delaware.

Whether they are supporting our public policy work or in the role of the Delaware River Watershed Fellow—working with the Stream Stewards program and First State National Historical Park in Wilmington—our interns help advance our mission in Delaware. Read to learn more about our 2022 interns, below.

Saada Wing stands in front of a creek in a forested area.
Saada Wing Alliance for Watershed Education Fellow © Courtesy of Saada Wing

Saada Wing returned to our Stream Stewards program in Wilmington this summer as our Alliance for Watershed Education (AWE) Fellow, developing new educational curricula focused on the mental health benefits of spending time in nature.

As our AWE Fellow, Saada was part of a summer cohort of fellows spanning 12 centers throughout the Delaware River watershed. This community science-based water monitoring program is helping to build a constituency of support for watershed stewardship among Wilmington-area residents and encouraging clean water resources for drinking and recreational activities like swimming and fishing while also providing healthy habitat for wildlife like American shad and other migratory fish.

“I hope to reach the hearts and minds of my generation, to take better care of what Earth has given us, that this is our planet, and we must love it,” Saada said.

I would love for people my age to understand the importance of our planet and continue to spread the change we all wish to see.

Alliance for Watershed Education Fellow

Launched in 2016, the Stream Stewards educational program took a big leap forward this year by hosting 60 students in grades K–6 for summer camp programs in First State National Historical Park in New Castle, DE, incorporating Saada’s new teaching tools. Stream Stewards is a partnership between TNC, the National Park Service and Stroud Water Research Center, with funding from the William Penn Foundation.

In the fall of 2022, the Stream Stewards program will expand its teen science engagement opportunities through a collaboration with The Warehouse, a Wilmington-based organization offering recreational, educational, arts, career and health programming.

Several teens stand around a table looking down at its contents in front of a body of water in a forested area. The table contains water samples and water monitoring tools.
Connecting to the Watershed The City of Wilmington's Green Jobs interns engage in the Stream Stewards program at First State National Historical Park. © Kim Hachadoorian/TNC
Kaelyn Kobosko headshot.
Kaelyn Kobosko Delaware Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Communication, Implementation, and Strategy Intern. © Courtesy of Kaelyn Kobosko

This summer, Kaelyn Kobosko served as the TNC Delaware Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) communication, implementation and strategy intern, a position sponsored by the Delaware Sea Grant College Program with funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She conducted research on how and when communities may access IIJA funding and helped develop a strategy to encourage the funding to be spent on climate mitigation and resilience while addressing the needs of underserved communities.

Kaelyn is in her junior year at Hood College in Frederick, MD. She is majoring in sustainability studies with minors in biology and economics.

This internship has given me the opportunity to gain valuable skills in policy and communication strategies.

Delaware IIJA Communication, Implementation and Strategy Intern
Canada geese and a gaggle of goslings float along a wide, calm creek. Low-hanging tree branches are reflected in the water.
Brandywine Creek The Brandywine Creek is the sole source of drinking water for Wilmington, Delaware's largest city. © Devan King