Meet Our Current Naturalist Intern
Kat is from Virginia and studied at Virginia Tech to earn a BS in Conservation and Recreation Management with a minor in Forestry. For the last eight years, Kat was a camp counselor and later instructor at a horse back riding camp in her hometown during the summers. This is where she discovered her love of teaching, as well as her passion for teaching in the outdoors. While growing up surrounded by family who were teachers and administrators in schools, Kat knew she did not want to be a traditional classroom teacher like many of them. She decided she wanted to combine her love of teaching horse camp with her college degree in natural resources and looked to pursue environmental education!
Kat’s mother grew up about an hour north of Albany and her grandparent’s told her about Five Rivers, so she jumped at the chance to apply for their naturalist internship! “It was a perfect combination of bringing me back to one of my favorite places where my connection to nature has always been the strongest, my interest in the area, and the opportunity to learn about and experience working in this field,” said Kat.
Kat continued to explain, “I have had tons of fun so far and I am always excited for what a new day of work will bring! Within a few short weeks I am already much better at bird and plant ID, being more curious and observant in nature, and my interpretive skills are beginning to blossom with all the new displays and trainings I get to work on and be a part of.” Kat hopes to continue on to a long term position doing environmental education and guiding and continuing to learn and explore the natural habitats New York has to offer once this position comes to an end.
Environmental Education Intern
DEC’s environmental education centers (Five Rivers, Reinstein 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)