Conserve Wildlife Blog

Meet the Interns: Get to Know the Young Biologists Helping Out At CWF

August 8th, 2020

By Morgan Mark, CWF Intern

Biologist Allegra Mitchell works with CWF interns to record plant species and quantity during a bog turtle survey,

When every work day feels like an adventure out of Charles Darwin’s pocket diaries, you know you are living a conservationist’s dream. Thanks to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, interns like me have the amazing opportunity to realize our childhood aspirations to study and protect wildlife, and we can do so right in our own neighborhoods and communities.

Here are the current CWF interns and what we’ve been up to!

Over the past two months, Jamie-Lynn has helped with the Great Bay Boulevard Terrapin Project: monitoring habitat enhancement and nesting sites, recording body measurements, replanting the eggs of injured turtles, and educating the public about local wildlife. A Bayville native, Jamie-Lynn is currently earning her B.S. in Marine Biology with a minor in Marine Affairs at the University of New Haven, Connecticut. In addition to looking for her favorite New Jersey species, the eastern box turtle, she also helps out with osprey nesting projects and babysits. 

“Whether it’s little kids, families, or tourists on vacation, we’re all ecstatic when someone wants to stop and learn about the turtles and wildlife. It really feels like we’re making a huge difference when we see them drive off with smiles on their faces and stopping along the roads to watch or help the turtles cross!”

Margaret is from Westfield, New Jersey and recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Environmental Conservation and Sustainability and a  minor in Writing. She currently works at Pocono Organics and collects bog turtle data for CWF. Last year, Margaret edited the CWF field guide, which contains detailed information about New Jersey’s endangered, threatened, and special concern species. Fortunately, her favorite New Jersey species, the eastern fence lizard, is not endangered. Some of Margaret’s favorite CWF experiences include enjoying the beautiful North Jersey scenery while searching for bog turtles. 

Marissa loves spending time with the osprey, her favorite New Jersey species: banding her first bird is one of her best memories. She also works with terrapins and has even had one lay an egg in her car en route to the turtle’s original location. Marissa currently lives in Linwood, Pennsylvania and studies Marine Science and Biology at Rider University.

“I enjoy working with CWF because wildlife is important and not many people are educated about threatened species. Through working with CWF, I’ve been able to educate students and faculty at Rider about ospreys, as well as spread awareness about looking out for terrapins in the summer while driving.”

Taking wildlife photos has become a new favorite hobby for Morgan, who helps create social media content and videos for CWF. She also assists biologists with piping plover, bog turtle, and terrapin projects. Morgan is from Millstone Township and majors in Bioenvironmental Engineering at Rutgers University. She found her new favorite species, the thread-leaved sundew, while photographing insects in the Pine Barrens.

“Being a part of a team that protects New Jersey’s endangered species makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world. Whether it be searching for bog turtles, helping terrapins cross the street, or photographing ospreys in mid-flight, I always find myself asking, ‘How many chances will I get to do this work?’ I know these projects are amazing because I always answer, ‘Just one.’”

When she’s not teaching high school science, Nicole can be found in the field conducting bog turtle surveys and monitoring the CIG site. She is pursuing her PhD in Environmental Management at Montclair State University and currently resides in Oakland, New Jersey. Nicole’s favorite New Jersey species is the wood frog, and her funniest memory is watching Wildlife Biologist Allegra Mitchell unearth a GPS that had been lost in the mud for a month.

Visit our website to learn how you can get involved!

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