Our Interns

MEET OUR FRIENDS’ NATURALIST INTERNS FOR SUMMER/FALL 2022

GABRIELLE  SAWYER

Hi I’m Gabby! I am a New Yorker who graduated with BA in environmental science from Wells College in 2021. Throughout my college career, I was widely involved in the community, eager to learn and be a part of as many different groups as I could be. I was a college athlete and captain of the volleyball/softball team, coordinator of campus traditions and events, STEM teaching assistant, orientation leader, artist, and café barista. I’ve always enjoyed working with people and enriching the interactions of everyday life within various groups/communities.

As much as I enjoyed school and the concept of learning, standardized school structure and traditional teaching styles didn’t always resonate with me as a student, particularly after a traumatic brain injury. I personally benefited from hands on experiential learning, being able to see and work with topics and their application directly. Nature has always been the best instructor for this reason.

My love of the natural world and its inhabitants has been one of the strongest and most consistent passions of mine starting from a young age. From playing in mud puddles, climbing trees, catching critters, gardening with my papa, and using the environment around me to be inventive and creative, these are the little things I enjoyed as a child that allowed me to find and create this natural foundation I want to implement in my own life as well as others. I strongly believe that the natural world we live in is an important baseline to life’s concepts and understanding, allowing us to step away from the hecticness of everyday life and break it back down to basics. It applies physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, giving ourselves the space to see and feel the simplicity and freedom within life’s complexity.

As an educator in the future, I hope to share my passion through the exciting aspects of our environment and the appreciation of different teaching/learning styles. Working With the Five Rivers/Friends of Five Rivers staff has (only after a short time) shown that there are people out there with this shared passion. I’m excited for this opportunity as an intern to learn and familiarize myself more with the natural world and expand on my experience, using beneficial teaching methods to reach various audiences.

ANNA SCHELL

I graduated from the University of Delaware with a BS in Environmental Science, and concentrated in Ecoscience. I also completed a minor in Wildlife Conservation & Ecology. There, I was also Assistant Captain of our Women’s Ice Hockey team. I have lived all throughout the country, including Connecticut, Oregon, Idaho, Pennsylvania, and now New York! This has given me a broad appreciation of the natural world around us. I grew up organic gardening with my Dad, so while I love animals as well, plants are my specialty. I also have a background in YMCA overnight camps. I worked at Camp Kon-O-Kwee/Spencer for five summers, and my last season there I was given the opportunity to be an age group director. This blossomed into a love for both the great outdoors and working with children. I believe they are the future, and an early introduction to nature will germinate into a passion later on. When my family moved to the Albany area, I was still a student, and had a hard time acclimating to the area. However, luckily I discovered Five Rivers, and was able to apply for the Naturalist Intern position. Just from my short time spent on site so far, I am already developing a love and respect for the environment in the area. Overall, I am very excited to see what new opportunities arise here at the center!

 

MEET OUR DEC INTERNS FOR 2022

JULIANNA BROPHY

Hi, I’m Julie! I grew up in Carmel, NY, and recently moved up to the Albany area. I graduated in May 2022 from SUNY Oswego with a B.S in Zoology. My love for animals and nature has always been in me, but my love for teaching hadn’t sparked until my junior year of college. I created a climate justice club with aim to raise awareness about sustainable practices, the climate crisis, and wildlife conservation. Sharing my passions, facilitating educational programs, and creating tangible change on my campus led me to pursue a career where I can inspire others to appreciate and preserve the natural world while enjoying all the wonders it has to share with us. I found myself at Five Rivers because I wanted to find a way to connect my extensive animal care experience, my appreciation and fascination for nature/wildlife, and my new interest in education. I am eager to continue learning from the amazing staff here at Five Rivers and I am super excited to see where this experience takes me!

OLIVIA JACKSON

Hi, I’m Olivia! I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and have fallen in love with the north! It helps that we’re still in Appalachia, so I can just drive to a mountain to feel at home. Growing up, I loved spending time with my family and friends outside. We’d spend hours in the field and creek behind my house exploring, laughing, and learning. When it came time for college and choosing a major, I knew that my heart was in biology and ecology. I graduated from James Madison University in 2020 with a BS in biology and a concentration in ecology and environmental biology. Post-graduation and during the height of COVID, I really had no idea what I wanted my career to look like. In March of 2021, I decided to join the Massachusetts Conservation Corp (MACC). My crew spent seven months living out of a tent, traveling the state, and improving trails. Our proudest accomplishment was installing over 100 steps during our service. I can never look at rocks the same way again… anyways! After a tough but rewarding time in MACC, I wanted to see another side of conservation. I saw the position at Five Rivers and thought it’d be perfect for trying a little bit of everything. And I was right! I’ve gotten involved with animal care, citizen science projects, leading field trips, visiting school classrooms, summer camp, and so much more. I even discovered an unknown passion while working on new displays – graphic design. I’m excited to continue learning about the natural world, education, and myself while doing what I love.

OLIVIA TROIANO

I am originally from Pennsylvania but have found myself in New York throughout my life. Being close to the New York border, I took trips upstate and visited family on Long Island every so often. From 2018 to 2021 I went to school at SUNY-ESF in Syracuse, where I graduated from the Environmental Studies program. Last year, I worked around the Hudson Valley doing trail work for the Excelsior Conservation Corps. After getting to try hands-on conservation work right out of college, I knew I wanted to dip my toes into environmental education next (having taken education and interpretation classes while in school). Being at Five Rivers since January, I’ve been given opportunities that I haven’t gotten before. What I love most is that I’m constantly learning new things and having new experiences, which has helped me explore my interests (and take an interest in things I never knew I had)! This position has solidified my interest in the conservation field. I’m excited to continue learning and growing during the rest of my time here!

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION INTERNS

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).

CONTACT US

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                 Fax:  (518) 475-0293

Charitable Tax ID# 23-7309978