We’ve had quite a bustling office this summer! WILD hired 5 extremely talented interns to help with a few exciting projects; some new, some old. Leda is keeping the office sane in the “land of administration;” Austin is leading the Nature Needs Half charge; Lauren is doing some awesome outreach for our new I-Wildlife project; and Margo came back from a semester abroad in Spain to help us with WILD10 outreach. And, introducing our newest intern: Jackie Batrus! Jackie is helping to coordinate the GenWILD youth program for WILD10.
Jackie Batrus, GenWILD
From the time I was very young, my father took me outdoors to teach me plant and animal names. My contact and appreciation of nature expanded as he took me skiing, hiking, camping and fishing. Recently our family vacations have been based in nature travel, for example, Patagonia, the Galapagos Islands, Alaska, Africa and the inside the Arctic circle. My love of nature and wild places has created, in me, a passion for saving wildness so that future generations can experience its beauty and wonder.
In the fall of 2012, I will enter my senior year of high school and plan on a blended career in nature conservation and communications. This GenWILD internship is an amazing opportunity for me to put my passion to work. I am working with Simon Jackson, founder of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition and head of the recently created GenWILD project. I will be helping coordinate the youth component that will be a network of 13 to 18 year olds around the world working on practical projects that illustrate a global conservation vision called Nature Needs Half.
So far, I have started making informational flyers for GenWILD and Nature Needs Half and I have been working on making connections with youth groups around the United States and overseas.
Leda Borys, Admin
Lucky for me, there’s always something to do in the Land of Administrative Tasks! Thus far, I have accomplished some sprucing up of closets, storage spaces and the upstairs loft…WILD’s staff is now well on its way to an all time speed record for finding paperclips. But seriously, it’s been a pleasure to be taking tasks off everyone’s plates. More recently, I’ve been working with Aly Duffey on creating a new interactive map feature on the website! Lots of fun and a good way to learn more about where and how WILD is involved around the world. Though my volunteering stint will be ending in September due to work opportunities in Patagonia, I would like to roundly applaud the work WILD does and it’s fantastic staff that make it all possible!
Lauren DeGeorge, I-Wildlife
So far my summer at WILD has been awesome! I have gotten a chance to get to know everyone in the office and the other interns; all are great people! I have been working with Alyson on community outreach for I-Wildlife (the wildlife bridge over I-70). This has included researching events and festivals to set up a booth, getting in contact with schools about having assemblies or classroom visits, and writing blogs about the animals in the west Vail area highlighting the importance of large sections of connected landscapes. I’m also very excited about trying to create a specialty license plate (like the “Share the Road” or “Clean Air” license plates) to support the construction of wildlife crossing in Colorado which has turned into quite the task (I will need to collect 3,00 signatures). Recently, I created a display for WILD to use at events that has removable pictures and information and I am happy with how it turned out. I am looking forward to continue learning about WILD and its projects and getting to know my co-workers better!
Margo Fraser, WILD10
In order to help with the WILD10 project I have been searching high and low for contacts in Spain (organizations, clubs, companies, etc) to inform and invite to the congress in October 2013! In order to build my database/spreadsheet I have been doing in depth internet research, along with reaching out to the contacts I made while living in Barcelona, Spain over the past year. It is interesting to find out about the many non-profit organizations in Spain that have similar goals and views as WILD does. It is a nice little reminder that we are not alone in our mission towards environmental and wildlife conservation around the world! Soon we will be constructing emails and phone calls to network and build as many connections as possible to spread the word about the Congress. I look forward to receiving responses and feedback, and watching the exciting WILD10 plans as they go into full swing. Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed working at WILD thus far. For one, I have been learning more and more each day about the importance of our mission and the Nature Needs Half vision, and this only further motivates me to work towards our conservation goals. On top of that, I am quite fortunate to have the opportunity to be around kind and enthusiastic people who are working for such a good and necessary cause!
Austin Perez, Nature Needs Half
I am working this summer as an intern for WILD’s Nature Needs Half initiative, and it has been a truly great experience thus far. I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to learn from the incredible people at The WILD Foundation and to be able to work with such a wonderful organization.
Most of my work this summer has been focused on researching and writing case studies on cities around the world that have epitomized the Nature Needs Half vision by enacting policies that protect approximately half of their total area as wild nature within their urban environment. So far, I have completed two case studies on Hong Kong, China and Oslo, Norway (coming soon!). It has been a great experience to be able to research the environmental policies that cities around the world have adopted, and I have learned a lot about how these policies can translate into effective wilderness conservation. I am looking forward to continuing to research and write about how cities and countries all over the world are enacting policies in line with the Nature Needs Half vision, and to learning about how these policies are helping to promote a harmonized balance between development and the conservation of wild nature.
As a law student interested in environmental policy and natural resources law, my experience at the WILD Foundation and the work that I am doing with Nature Needs Half is providing me with an excellent opportunity to learn about the international landscape of environmental policy and about the strategies that are being adopted all over the world to promote wilderness conservation.