More Than Just a Summer Job
Our interns gain job skills while supporting our mission to conserve the planet’s land and water for people and nature.
Summer internships for some college students mean lots of coffee runs, making copies and filing. Not at The Nature Conservancy in Delaware, where our interns provide essential support to staff and programs, expanding the capacity of our conservation work across the state.
Whether they are serving as stewardship assistants on our preserves 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.
Connecting People to the Watershed
In Summer 2019, TNC in Delaware hosted three interns. Viviana Marshall served in the role of Delaware River Watershed Fellow as part of the Alliance for Watershed Education (AWE). As one of 23 Fellows working on outreach and education efforts in the Delaware River watershed, she helped educate residents of Wilmington about recreational opportunities and resources in First State National Historical Park.
“My role as an AWE Watershed Fellow has been immersive and enlightening,” said Viviana. “The fellowship introduced me to many community leaders who I otherwise would not have met. It taught me to be much more environmentally aware and conscientious of all my actions.”
Caring for Delaware’s Preserve Network
Brooke Cherry and Tessa Hayman also participated in the 2019 internship program. As stewardship assistant interns, they supported land steward Natasha Whetzel in caring for 5,022 acres of preserves located across Kent and Sussex counties. Their main duty was to conduct annual monitoring of our six preserves in Delaware and assisting with preserve management projects.
One of my favorite things was getting out in the field and seeing animals that I haven’t yet seen in the wild, like bald eagles and a yellow-billed cuckoo.
“I learned how to test seedling survivorship at the Edward H. McCabe Preserve’s reforestation site, and I’m glad I did because survivorship studies are essential in the conservation field,” Tessa said. “One of my favorite things was getting out in the field and seeing animals that I haven’t yet seen in the wild, like bald eagles and a yellow-billed cuckoo. I also really enjoyed participating in habitat restoration projects firsthand. For instance, I was able to girdle some Atlantic white cedars in order to protect the carnivorous purple pitcher plant.”
Like Tessa, Brooke also enjoyed seeing rare native plants and wildlife while working in the field. She also learned skills related to GIS (geographic information system) technology, which TNC uses to create data maps that can be used to track changes and evaluate success.
She says, "Thank you to TNC for giving me this amazing opportunity to meet new people and learn new techniques that I will take with me into the future.”