Growing up in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, I spent the majority of my youth outside. I believe my interest in the environment and the outdoors stems from my childhood experiences of exploring the woods, camping and fishing with my family, and spending summer days outside from morning until night. When I got to college, I decided to major in English because writing has always been a passion of mine. However, after my first three semesters I realized I wanted to learn more about the natural world and work towards a job where I could spend most of my time outside. I transferred to Penn State University in the middle of my sophomore year and changed my major to Environmental Studies. It was an awesome program with a great variety of courses, field trips, and projects that taught me a lot about several aspects of the environmental field.
Upon graduation last summer, I was chosen for another SCA internship with the National Park Service at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. I lived for three months in the Black Hills of South Dakota this past fall, working in the Resource Management office at the park. I did a lot of backcountry hiking and was able to be a part of preparing for a prescribed burn with wilderness firefighters in the area. It was an eye opening experience as well as a lot of fun to work in such a prominent national park and American icon. When I got back to Pennsylvania, I landed a seasonal job for the spring working at an outdoor center, where I currently teach environmental education classes and outdoor activities to school groups.
I would like to gain more hands on experience in the field of conservation so that I can find my niche. I love traveling and seeing different parts of the country, meeting new people, and learning new skills. I’m excited to see what the future holds.