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We’re moving our annual Conservation Scholars Summit online! Join us on Tuesday, August 11th from 1 PM – 4 PM PST for an afternoon of storytelling and internship project showcasing by our six second year scholars who are completing their DDCSP internship experience remotely this summer.

Please register in advance to receive the zoom link to the Summit. This event will begin promptly at 1 PM PST.

Meet Our Interning 2019 Cohort Scholars

The following six scholars from the 2019 cohort will share their conservation narratives and showcase the incredible work they completed with a conservation partner organization this summer. Get to know these scholars before attending our virtual summit.

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Internship Projects

We had the pleasure of partnering with five conservation organizations this summer who co-created deeply meaningful remote internship experiences alongside our scholar. Preview these projects before the Internship Showcase at the virtual summit.

William Walker VI

Amplifying Community Engagement for the Urban Marine Program

Washington Sea Grant

As part of our values statement, WSG strives to ensure the right of all people to live and work in a clean environment, and to eliminate disparities in access to natural resources, opportunities, and decision-making processes. To do this effectively, WSG will explore potential new projects related to equitable access to ecosystem services and marine resources within urban populations. Currently, WSG has limited programming that engages with urban populations of Washington, and specifically does not have programming that is focused on access to ecosystem services, and marine foods and resources in urban spaces. With this exploratory opportunity, community needs associated with urban populations’ use of the marine environment and participation in decision-making processes, will be assessed, and program gaps that may be filled by WSG will be identified. Specifically, the aim of this activity is to explore the needs of communities of color and traditional and local knowledge holders that are currently underserved and underrepresented in WSG outreach programming in urban environments.

View Amplifying Community Engagement for the Urban Marine Program
Ayana Harscoet

On Science, Language, & Community

Duwamish Floating Wetlands Project at Green Futures Lab

This summer, I interned with the Duwamish Floating Wetlands Project, one of two projects originating in the Green Futures Lab at the University of Washington. I had a unique hybrid experience—twice a week, I was able to spend time out on the BioBarges, where I worked with community members and the GFL team to monitor how these floating wetland structures were impacting fish and invertebrate populations, plant growth, water quality, and more. Later in the season, my in-person time transitioned to lab work, processing plant and invertebrate samples as the BioBarges were decommissioned.

Out of the field, I spent my time developing social media content for the project, writing posts for the GFL’s blog, and engaging with my own reflective, creative work around science, language, history, and positionality. I wasn’t sure how to combine all of these elements into a cohesive project, so my “project” is in many ways the story of my summer, as told through photos, poems, and reflective pieces. I’m currently working on a website where all my work is housed, and depending on how things go, might also put together a zine exploring themes of definition, extraction, and collaboration in science.

View On Science, Language, & Community
Duwamish Floating Wetland
photo of the floating wetland in action on the Duwamish River
Prasadini Gross & Simren Rai

Land For Food: Building Advocacy Capacity to Strengthen the Local Food System in Snohomish County


Forterra is a non-profit that works to promote equitable, sustainable, land-use practices that help build and foster human non-human ecosystems and communities. Our Land for Food project was focused on Snohomish County. Snohomish County is one of the fastest growing regions in the country, with nearly 10,000 residents moving to the county over the past year. This population growth was due in large part to the significant increase in the cost of living in neighboring King County and Seattle, which has pushed residents into surrounding areas including Snohomish County to the north. Given this rapid growth and development—and given the fact that the majority of Snohomish County’s population growth has occurred in unincorporated areas rather than cities—there is a need to identify key food policy issues in anticipation of shifting demographics and land-use priorities.

In our internship, we reviewed policies and comprehensive plans in south Snohomish County as well as demographic trends. The combination of these analyses showed us where there are strengths and weaknesses in Snohomish County’s food systems. We also reached out to many organizations that help the county’s emergency food supply. These include food banks, religious organizations, community gardens, and school programs. Ultimately our deliverables enabled us to see the scope of Snohomish County’s emergency food supply. Our deliverables included an asset resource catalog, policy review and analysis, and a slide deck presentation.

View Land For Food: Building Advocacy Capacity to Strengthen the Local Food System in Snohomish County
Maya Greally

National Park Service Shared Beringian Heritage Program

Shared Beringian Heritage Program

Under the auspices of the National Park Service, The Shared Beringian Heritage Program (SBHP) seeks to recognize and celebrate the unique natural resources and rich cultural heritage shared by Russia and the United States across the landscapes and seascapes known as Beringia. This area is principally composed of the land, sea and peoples that once connected North America and Asian during the Pleistocene ice ages. The primary goal of the program is to sustain the cultural vitality of its indigenous people and promote understanding and preservation of the region’s resources.

The proposed project would hold the focus of introducing the scholar to the unique geographical and cultural landscape of Beringia chiefly through the preparation of resource briefs. The internship was a journey of learning and then producing several deliverables for SBHP. The beginning focused on full immersion in remote learning about Beringia, its natural and cultural history and what the present day looks like there. Then two articles were created about two projects that SBHP has and is funding to be published on the SBHP website to promote accessibility and availability of the projects. In addition there was work done on consolidating information and resources about the Beringia Days conference.

View National Park Service Shared Beringian Heritage Program
Skyler Chong

Restoring Clam Gardens of the Pacific Northwest while Learning from Native Hawaiian Fishponds

Dr. Marco Hatch, Coastal Communities & Ecology Lab at Western Washington University

Under the mentorship of Marco Hatch at Western Washington University and Northwest Indian college, my project revolved around the restoration process of clam gardens. Clam gardens are an indigenous aquaculture practice that was historically found along the Northwest coast, spanning in today’s world from Washington, through British Columbia, and into Alaska (more to be learned here: While the practice has experienced a mass fallout in recent history, there has been a resurgence in their recognition in the last 25 years and multiple efforts have begun with the aim of restoring these gardens.

During my internship, there were two main pieces to the work I was doing. The first piece involved the processing and stitching of drone images taken along the coast of Orcas Island. This work involved working with Open Drone Map software to stitch the images, as well as documenting the steps I took so that the process could be replicated later on for similar purposes. The goal behind these images was to locate potential remnants of clam garden structures in Washington specifically, which has not been done before. The second part of the project made use of a preexisting partnership between Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska SeaGrant which focuses on indigenous aquaculture restoration. Similar to clam gardens, Native Hawaiian fishponds (loko i’a) are in the process of being restored, however they are relatively far ahead of clam gardens in this restoration process. Given this situation and the fact that I am currently at home, in Hawaii, I was able to interview people working on both clam garden and loko i’a restoration to see what major themes and lessons can be learned and carried forward in this work. The final deliverable for this part of the project takes the form of a report containing everything that I found.

View Restoring Clam Gardens of the Pacific Northwest while Learning from Native Hawaiian Fishponds
clam-gardens - Skyler Chong
Photo of one of the clam gardens

Internship Sites

we thank our wonderful partners for their ongoing support of our scholars, program, and the collective vision for more just and equitable conservation practices.

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