The NSRWA has hosted interns for decades (in fact our ecologist Sara Grady was an intern in 1998 and our executive director Samantha Woods was an intern in 1995). We checked in with some interns from the past 15 years to see what they are doing now:
Doug McPherson (2008)
After interning at the NSRWA I graduated from James Madison University with a BS in Biology and moved on to work as an analytical chemist analyzing Deepwater Horizon oil spill samples for the NOAA natural resource damage assessment case against BP. From there, I worked at a tree injection company in a variety of roles, culminating in becoming their regulatory and compliance manager. During my time in the tree industry I completed my Masters in Project Management from Northeastern University and became a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). I left the tree industry to become a quality manager for Joyn Bio where we worked on microbial fertilizer replacements and a variety of microbial crop protectants. I currently work as the quality manager for Ginkgo Bioworks in their newly formed Agricultural Biologicals division and I’m excited to see where we go as a company! Thanks for reaching out about this, it’s always fun to look back at where you’ve come from and where you are now. I really valued my experience at the watershed!
Erica Burgess (2010)
Looking back it’s been quite some time since I interned – but my love of science continued. I went on to earn a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from WPI. While there, I met my now husband and we live in Plymouth with our three dogs. I currently work as Sales Engineer at a manufacturing company in Plymouth.
Laura McPherson (2011)
I learned so much being an intern at the watershed and it really helped me learn to appreciate what conservation work is all about! I’m now a Management & Program Analyst for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) out in Western MA. We work with farmers and forest landowners to help them conserve natural resources on their land. I started as a contractor of NRCS and now work directly with NRCS, and I love it!
Adrienne Lohe (2012)
It’s been so long, but I remember my days as an NSRWA intern so fondly!!! Tagging horseshoe crabs and walking around surveying rivers and wetlands was so fun. Maybe one day I’ll get to work in the field a bit more. Nowadays I’m working as a biologist in NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Protected Resources in Silver Spring, MD. I’m part of the Endangered Species Conservation division and work on evaluating the extinction risk of marine and anadromous species, listing species as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), and developing recovery plans and monitoring the status of ESA-listed species. Before this I spent about 3 years at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service working on permitting for the international wildlife trade.
Emily Pitman (2013)
Thanks for reaching out! So thrilled to hear that you’re still hosting interns – it’s a blast to see the updates in the summertime via social media when things are rocking and rolling! I am currently a GIS Analyst with Thurston County out in Washington State. My position is within the Community Planning and Economic Development department and I do complex spatial analysis and create maps related to long range planning. Some of my projects include supporting the Habitat Conservation Plan team by developing mobile applications for field surveys and evaluating potential locations to support protected species.
Kaitlin Morel (2016)
My life’s been pretty low-key since my intern days. After college I went to law school. I’m still passionate about the environment and dedicated a good portion of my law classes to environmental regulations, but I ended up finding and loving a job in construction law. I’m working at Strang, Scott & Giroux, a Boston law firm, where I am an associate attorney practicing construction litigation.
Andrew Staley (2018)
It is amazing to think you’ve had 15 years of interns. Hope to see you soon and volunteer if I can! As you know my story has taken some twists and turns. I am nearly 2 years sober at this point. I graduated in 2020 with a Bachelors in Environmental Studies from Denison University. After spending some time in Nantucket, I moved back to Boston and worked at an environmental services company as a contractor at BioGen. I decided I wanted to spend more time on the ocean so I left that position and worked on an oyster farm in Duxbury. Now I’m working full time at Herren Wellness, the treatment center I attended as a guest, as a wellness specialist. Additionally, I have been pursuing my Masters in Sustainability from the Harvard Extension School, and I got a puppy, Kobe!
Calli Bianchi (2018)
I am currently in my last semester of college at Harvard where I have been studying history of science with a minor in health policy. I’m hoping to go to medical school after taking several years off to gain more clinical experience and hopefully do some traveling too. I’m so thankful for all of the great work and research experience I got from my NSRWA internship and I hope to stay involved with North River conservation projects!