Our Interns



Hello! My name is Ashley and I absolutely adore nature. I was born and raised in New York and spent a lot of my childhood playing outdoors, climbing trees, collecting bugs from my dad’s garden, swimming in the lake I grew up on, looking at frogs and toads, I was always outside. As an adult, I love going fishing, hiking, hunting, kayaking, and even crocheting. I have recently graduated from Paul Smith’s College with a BS in Natural Resource Conservation Management (NRCM for short). Throughout my college career, I took classes that put me out in the field and getting some hands-on experience. For example, one class had me using different methods on capturing fish. We deployed hoop and seine nets; I also got the chance to electro fish. Other classes had me catching birds in mist nets, on my hands and knees looking for salamanders, identifying mammal skulls by their scientific name, and many more. I am excited to be doing my internship here at Fiver Rivers. For many years, I have wanted to work out in nature. Starting my environmental career here has been amazing so far, and I cannot wait to see what my future holds.


Hi! My name is Cait Briell and am a Naturalist Intern here at Five Rivers. I have recently graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and Environmental Studies, so I am very excited to combine those passions as I explore, learn, and teach during these next few months.

I am local to the area, so I have grown up with a love and appreciation for all that upstate NY has to offer. Some of my favorite things to do growing up were hiking, camping, letterboxing, and fishing. My family and I were always outdoors together doing some type of exploring. Now, I enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, gardening, and simply learning from nature with family, friends, and colleagues. My biggest focus as I begin life out of college is to take any chance I can to connect others to nature and hopefully foster an appreciation for the natural world around us. I have already had so many amazing experiences at Five Rivers and can’t wait for what is to come.



Hi! My name is Helen and I am from Yorktown, Virginia. Here are some fun facts about me: I love movies and music, can play the guitar, my favorite color is purple, I was the head coach of a summer swim team, I’m CPR and lifeguard certified, I love playing the game Clue, and I don’t like bananas.

Growing up, I was never afraid of getting dirty and always loved to sit in the grass and observe the life around me. My house backed up to protected natural ponds, so I was able to spend a lot of time exploring a natural habitat. The relationship I built with the plants and animals in my backyard played a huge role in leading me to where I am today. In May of 2022, I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Wildlife Conservation and a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). During my time in school, I took several classes that involved field work and hands on, experiential learning. I also worked as a Watchable Wildlife Intern with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. In this position, I worked on projects that aimed to connect people with the outdoors.  Through my schooling and internship work, I realized how amazing it is to professionally work with and around wildlife. This realization led me to the field of environmental education where I can hopefully play a part in inspiring the next generation to find amazement in the world around them. I’m super excited to now be working at Five Rivers and am looking forward to all the new experiences I will have here.


Hello, my name is Andrea Malacaman. I am new to the capital region as I am originally from Pennsylvania. I graduated from Slippery Rock University with a BS in Environmental Geoscience with a concentration in Environmental Science, a minor in Nonprofit Management, and a certificate in Sustainability. I took various courses and worked with Residence Life as a Resident Assistant to expand my knowledge and experience. While taking diverse classes, I found a strong affinity for nonprofit work, environmental awareness, education, and justice.

Although I grew my passion and knowledge in college, I knew throughout high school that I wanted an environmental career. Before starting 9th grade, my family and I visited Manila, Philippines. It wasn’t until this trip that I started noticing the effects of environmental degradation. From then on out, my curiosity about the environment continued to grow! While learning about the environment, I realized the importance of connecting with nature and the benefits of good environmental education. I wanted to help others learn about the environment in a more empowering and inspiring way!

I was ecstatic to get the opportunity to work at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center since it allows me to learn more about wildlife and environmental education while connecting with other nature lovers! I cannot wait to learn more about Five Rivers and help them continue inspiring and educating the community!


DEC’s environmental education centers (Five RiversReinstein Woods, and Rogers) offer internships to persons seeking professional experience in the field of environmental education. Each intern will receive training in the mission and role of the DEC environmental education bureau, a wide variety of center programs, the operations and activities of a center, principles of environmental interpretation and natural history of New York. Interns will assume the role of environmental education staff in carrying out the responsibilities necessary to meet the center’s objectives. Opportunities for training and development of specific skills will be available depending on each intern’s interests and the center’s needs. The internships run for 10 to 16+ weeks (depending on the center) and are held year-round.

For more information, go the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC website).


56 Game Farm Rd., Delmar, NY 12054
For Educational Program Information, email:  education@FriendsofFiveRivers.org
For General Information, email:  info@FriendsofFiveRivers.org
Phone:  (518) 475-0295

Charitable Tax ID# 23-7309978