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Riverkeeper’s Summer Interns Make a Splash!

Intern and staff group on hike to Giant Ledge

Interns with Watershed Team staff during a hike to Giant Ledge in the Catskills
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By Dana Gulley, Outreach and Development Coordinator and Liza Gordon, Development Intern

This was my first experience in the non-profit/environmental sector and I am very happy to discover that my enthusiasm for this cause is not without reason. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a professional life knowing that the work matters for something so much larger than one’s self, and this is an incredible stepping stone to establishing myself as that professional.
– Christopher Bride, Special Projects Intern

Riverkeeper’s Summer 2012 internship program is nearing its close! Our eleven summer interns have helped to reinforce our campaigns, projects and outreach events throughout the summer season and have supported our legal, development, and communications teams by working on specific projects that pertain to their interests. By applying their skills, expertise and experience to our efforts they have forwarded Riverkeeper’s ultimate mission: to work alongside communities to give our river and its inhabitants a voice.

As we begin our goodbyes, we remember the watershed hike and tour of the Ashokan Reservoir with staff scientist Bill Wegner, our boat outing through the Hudson Highlands with Captain John Lipscomb, professional development lunches with several of our program directors, attending the Delaware River Basin Commission oral arguments with the watershed team and sharing Riverkeeper’s work with the public at several outreach events, from the Clearwater Festival at Croton Point Park to City of Water Day on Governor’s Island. Riverkeeper would like to say a heartfelt thank you to each of our interns for all of the support and inspiration you have provided to us and our work. The Hudson is a better place for it!

Learn About Their Experiences

Conor Strong, a rising junior and Gabel Internship recipient from Pace University said, “Working at Riverkeeper has been a real privilege and opportunity. I not only learned a wealth of priceless skills, but I also gained memories and experiences that I’ll keep with me forever.”

Liza Gordon, a recent Connecticut College graduate said, “As a development intern I enjoyed working on a variety of diverse projects throughout the summer, allowing me to form a full understanding of how Riverkeeper operates.”

Lindsey Axilrod, a rising sophomore at Middlebury College said, “Working for Riverkeeper and the hike and the boat trip definitely helped me realized that I want to work in the environmental field. I really enjoyed my time at Riverkeeper. It was truly a great experience for me.”

Caroline Schoen and Dana Colihan, rising seniors at the Nightingale-Bamford School, provided significant support to the team throughout the summer. From attending outreach events to designing new outreach projects, their support has been immeasurable.

Captain John Lipscomb demonstrating water quality sampling to interns with assistant Rob Friedman steering the R. Ian Fletcher

Jessica Witmer, a student at Pace Law School said, “Working for Riverkeeper has been an invaluable experience. I was able to see firsthand how the research I conducted over the summer applies to real-life situations by attending the Indian Point hearings.”

Michael Turkel, a law student at the University of Chicago said, “Although I was only an intern, everyone at Riverkeeper made me feel as if I were a long time member of the team. I was privileged to be involved in complex litigation cases like the Tappan Zee, as well as cases with more community involvement, such as the Gowanus Canal. Whether I was drafting legal documents, attending a community meeting with a Congresswoman, or out on the boat on the Gowanus Canal, my time at Riverkeeper never ceased to involve me in exciting, substantive elements of environmental law.”

Nell Auchincloss, a rising sophomore at the University of Vermont said, “This summer at Riverkeeper has been an invaluable learning experience. Not only is it inspiring to work at such a noble organization but they have also entrusted me with some really important work, which I am forever grateful for.”

Kim Garrison, a Western New England Law School student said, “Interning at Riverkeeper was a great experience for me. I wish to pursue environmental law, and interning with Riverkeeper gave me my first opportunity to see what the field is like. It was a great learning experience, with interesting and challenging issues. I also was able to work on some more local issues. Overall my experience was positive and I look forward to pursuing environmental law in my career.”

Kim Pierce, a law student at Pace University said, “I had an excellent experience at Riverkeeper this summer. Fracking is one of the most significant environmental threats to our state and region, and it was exciting to spend my summer working on such an important issue.”

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