Youth Conservation Leadership Program

Environmental Conservation Intern Alumni

Helping increase capacity for our conservation initiatives that protect birds and the places they need to survive.

Testimony From Past Interns

This internship was the best post-grad job I could have asked for! I learned so much from Mark and found the work very rewarding. Working with the terns also helped me identify my interest in seabirds, and inspired me to seek out and accept another position focusing on seabird conservation. I will definitely carry the experience and knowledge I gained as an Audubon intern into my future. - Claire Reilly, Priority Species Intern 2023

My time at Audubon has only strengthened my desire to continue to work in avian conservation. It's hard to pick just one favorite moment or experience, but I will never forget the morning I banded a male Cedar Waxwing, one of my favorite birds. Being able to interact with him so closely was amazing. - Grace Yaros, Conservation Intern 2022

Conservation Intern Alumni


Claire Reilly
Priority Bird Species Conservation Intern 
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While growing up in Massachusetts, Claire’s passion for birds began when she was gifted a pocket field guide to the shorebirds of New England for her tenth birthday. She came to Vermont to pursue a career in conservation and fell in love with forest and shrubland birds during her time at the University of Vermont, where she recently graduated with a B.S. in Wildlife & Fisheries Biology and Environmental Science. She is very excited to gain hands-on experience in avian conservation, sharpen her identification skills, and learn more about the life history of Vermont’s birds this summer. When not birding for work, she likes to bird for fun, spend time outdoors, roller-skate, craft, or try something new.

Where are they now? Claire is now a The Nature Conservancy Palmyra Conservation Science Volunteer monitoring seabird populations, like Grey-backed Terns. Learn more about the project: TNC Palmyra Atoll

Drew Conde
Bird-Friendly Forestry Conservation Intern 
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Naturally gravitating towards woodlands, wetlands, and rivers from a young age, Drew, who is originally from eastern Massachusetts, instantly fell in love with maple sugaring upon moving to Vermont. A recent graduate University of Vermont with a degree in Forestry, Drew indulges in learning about forest ecosystems and their ecological and economic intertwining. Prior to his work with Audubon VT, he has worked for the Bird Friendly Maple Efficacy study as well as the Proctor Maple Research Center. He is passionate about how scientific research affects conservation and industrial forest decision making and is excited to pursue opportunities which allow him to grow and learn. Outside of academic pursuits, Drew loves to hike, read, camp, rock climb, ski, fish, forage, grow vegetables, and cook. 

Veronica Ross
UVM Conservation Intern 
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Veronica Ross is currently at the University of Vermont studying the environment. She’s from Columbus, Ohio and enjoys crafting, playing music, hiking, swimming, and exploring. Her appreciation for birds and the natural world blossomed during her time at the Outdoor Academy in North Carolina during high school. She later returned during college as an outdoor educator during summer break and taught classes that helped children build relationships with nature. For the past year, she has been a part of the UVM Fellowship for Restoration Ecologies and Cultures where she found a passion for conserving and restoring landscapes and ecosystems. Veronica is also a Teaching Assistant for NR 002, Natural History and Human Ecology, at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources where she leads weekly outdoor labs. Some of her current interests include animal tracking and plant propagation. Recently, Veronica has taken a lot of interest in Pileated Woodpeckers and spends her free time looking for signs of them and learning from them. 

Thomas Patti 

Environmental Policy Intern Fall 2022 & Conservation Intern Summer 2022


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Thomas (he/him) is a recent graduate of Brown University, where he studied environmental science and English. He developed his passions for birds, conservation, and writing from an early age, while wandering the suburban woods of Newton, Massachusetts. Ultimately, Thomas is interested in merging all of these interests into a career in environmental research and communication. He aspires to tell the stories of the people, places, and processes that define New England’s unique position in the context of environmental change. Experiences in ecological research, science journalism, and environmental education have reinforced this goal. When he’s not looking at birds for work, Thomas enjoys looking at birds for fun, along with playing basketball and watching horror films.


Where are they now? Thomas continued at Audubon as an intern in our Environmental Policy program in the Fall of 2022. Since then, he has joined the Wildlands Trust, a land trust based in Plymouth, MA, as their Communications Coordinator. 

Jacob Crawford

Environmental Forestry Intern, Summer 2022

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Jacob is a lifelong outdoors person who grew up hunting and fishing in the hills of Jericho, VT. His interest in birds, birding, and conservation took root in middle school, but it wasn’t until his freshman year, as a Wildlife and Fisheries Biology undergraduate student at the University of Vermont (UVM), that his passion and curiosity really began to reach for the skies. In the spring of 2022, Jacob graduated from UVM with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and minors in Forestry and Geospatial Technologies (GIS) and he worked as the Forest Conservation Intern with Audubon Vermont in Summer 2022. Jacob also volunteers as the Chair of the Communications Committee with the Green Mountain Audubon Society and as a regional checklist reviewer for Chittenden County, VT. A naturalist at heart, Jacob loves to learn about all organisms and while birds and trees are his areas of expertise, you may also find him in the field looking for amphibians, fish, moths, butterflies, and syrphids (flower or hover flies). Jacob is grateful for the opportunity to share his passions and knowledge with landowners around the state this summer and to promote forest management practices that keep birds and healthy forests in mind.

Where are they now? Jacob continued with Audubon after his internship as our Community Science and Chapter Engagement AmeriCorps Member from fall 2022-summer 2023. Jacob has since moved on to be a Bioacoustics Laboratory Fellow with the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education and the US Forest Service.

Grace Yaros 

Environmental Conservation Intern Summer 2022

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Grace is originally from New Jersey, and has always had a love for wildlife and the outdoors. She attended her first birdwatching trip in 2016 to Sandy Hook, NJ and birds have been her passion ever since. She is currently studying Wildlife and Fisheries Biology at the University of Vermont, and is also working on her undergraduate thesis studying how American Kestrel populations in Ferrisburgh, Vermont respond to the addition of artificial nest boxes. In the future she hopes to continue working to conserve and protect threatened and endangered bird species, and is incredibly excited and grateful for the opportunity to learn with Audubon Vermont and be able to help with some incredible conservation projects!

Where are they now? Grace graduated from UVM in spring 2023 after serving as the President of the UVM Audubon Campus Chapter and moved out to Wyoming to work as a Field Technician. 

Asha DiMatteo-LePape
Environmental Forestry Intern, Summer 2021
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Asha grew up in Guilford, Vermont, where she spent her time outdoors hiking, swimming, and skiing. She began pursuing her career in conservation by obtaining her BS from the University of Maine studying Ecology & Environmental Science and Parks, Recreation, & Tourism. She also has her MS at the University of Maine in Conservation Science and Forest Resources. Asha is passionate about landscape ecology and conservation, climate change planning, and creating opportunities for equitable access to the outdoors. Asha loves spending her time exploring outside while hiking, rock climbing, and skiing (cross-country and downhill!) She is excited to be part of the Audubon VT conservation team and to put her passion and excitement to work. 

Where are they now? After her internship, Asha served as the Catamount Trail Association Outreach & Youth Program Coordinator Americorps Member. 

Gus Lunde

Environmental Conservation Intern, Summer 2021


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A Vermonter his whole life, Gus grew up in nearby Charlotte, Vermont, and was introduced to birding at a young age by his parents. Gus found knowing the names of the colorful birds coming to his home bird feeders super cool, and fast forward to now, Gus is a rising sophomore at the University of Vermont studying environmental science. Gus is very excited to be a conservation intern this summer, and work on his bird banding skills and knowledge of ecology and conservation. Gus was first introduced to bird banding by Mark LaBarr as a junior at Champlain Valley Union High School while he started his graduation project, and has loved working with Mark ever since then. Gus enjoys being outside every season and spends his time skiing, paddle boarding, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, and more. He also enjoys playing the piano, saxophone and drums, and hanging out with his Newfoundland dog, Flora. 

Fiona McCarthy

Environmental Conservation Intern, Summer 2021


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Fiona is from Bucks County, Pennsylvania where she grew up surrounded by a wide variety of ecosystems, from neighboring farms to surrounding cities. She was first introduced to birding by her dad, an avid birder himself. In 2021, she graduated from UVM with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Wildlife Biology. Through earning her undergraduate degree, she further developed her passions for environmental education and wildlife conservation through artistic expression and experiential learning. Splitting her degree between both science and humanities-focused courses enabled her to approach conservation through a well-rounded lens. Her work with Audubon Vermont at the bird banding station in Huntington and the Common Tern Recovery Project has provided her with skills that she hopes to take with her as she pursues a career in wildlife research and restoration. Fiona currently lives in Burlington where she enjoys cooking for friends, biking around the lake, and listening to live music. 

Tyler Philbrook

Environmental Conservation Intern, Summer 2021


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I grew up on Swan’s Island in Maine - a small island six miles off the coast with a hefty sum of 350 people year-round. This solitudinous upbringing nurtured a love of nature, writing, and a curiosity for the machinations of the mind which led me to walk in nature, write my first novel, and become a meditation leader. I began birding in middle school when I was out walking with my dad and I heard what sounded to me like a rabid squirrel trilling by the shore of a pond. I remarked on how crazy that “squirrel” sounded when he said, “Oh, you mean the Belted Kingfisher?” I was amazed when I went home and looked up the mohawked big-billed bird called a “kingfisher” and I was even more amazed that he had been able to identify it by sound. From there, driven by my fascination with music/sounds/nature, I began learning bird songs on my nature walks. I went to the University of Vermont for wildlife biology and I’m now working at Audubon as part of a quest to determine where I can make the most impact in conservation while holding true to my interests and ideals

Simran Padget
Environmental Conservation Intern, Summer 2021
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From a young age Simran has had a passion for animals and the environment. She was born and raised in Burlington, Vermont and is a rising junior at Emmanuel College in Boston, majoring in Biology and double minoring in Sustainability and Gender and Women’s Studies. She chose these topics because while she has an interest in the STEM field, she thinks it is important to address anything you do with an intentional and informed mindset. Simran was drawn to Audubon by their conversation work. While she is new to the ornithology field, she is excited to join the team and learn from the experienced Audubon staff. When Simran is not learning bird songs she can be found working at a local surf shop, hiking, skiing, or skateboarding. 

Samuel Blair

UVM Conservation Education Fellow, Summer 2018

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Sam is a student at The University of Vermont (UVM). He was Audubon Vermont’s first Conservation Education Fellow in the summer of 2018. He returned to Audubon Vermont in the summer of 2019 as a Conservation Intern. Sam grew up in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, where he learned to pay attention to nature from an early age via mud pies and milkweed fluff. He was also a big fan of trucks, but the nature thing pulled through in the end. At UVM he has consumed an educational smorgasbord, from the history of oral epics to the science of geology and geography. He’s still figuring out how to tie it all together. He is a leader in the UVM Outing Club and a member of Slade Ecological Cooperative, a student-run housing, food, and arts cooperative. He loves the great outdoors, growing and cooking food, playing music, and reading.

Hannah Weiss

UVM Conservation Education Fellow, Summer 2019

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Hannah Weiss is Audubon Vermont’s UVM Conservation Education Fellow for 2019, a position which involves broad participation in the organization’s many conservation and nature education initiatives. These articles are part of a series of “field notes” pieces, written to give the community a fellow’s-eye view of the exciting and important work being done by Audubon Vermont every day.

Hannah spent her childhood running wild around the hardwood forests of western Massachusetts. Feeling indebted to the ecosystem that had helped raise her, she earned a B.S in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont in 2018, and has continued at UVM into an M.S in Natural Resources. During college, she traveled to Patagonia, Chile to engage with community-based participatory-action research projects and has continued working on research through her academic career. Between semesters, her most memorable summers were spent teaching land conservation to high schoolers in Minnesota, and how to backpacking in the White Mountains, NH. Overall, she is interested in broadening access to and contributing to what is known about the natural world. When not in class or at her research site, Hannah can be found exploring Vermont via bicycle, trying new Paleo recipes with her partner, or watching Star Trek (Next Generation/Voyager).

Where are they now? Hannah held a variety of conservation science and environmental education positions after her time with us. She now works as a scientist for Atlas. 


Americorps Alumni
Youth Conservation Leadership Program

Americorps Alumni

Getting things done for Audubon Vermont!

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Environmental Policy Intern Alumni
Youth Conservation Leadership Program

Environmental Policy Intern Alumni

The application of law, science, and policy for the protection of birds and the places they need to thrive.

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