Interns Start Summer

All Three Interns

Hello! This is Sydney Gendreau, Julia Matthews and Olivia Pitta, the Nature Groupie Interns for the summer of 2021. We are excited to spend the summer outside working with Nature Groupie and other conservation organizations in New Hampshire. Check back for more stories and see our bios below!  

Sydney Gendreau

My name is Sydney Gendreau and I am a senior Environmental and Resource Economics (EREC), dual Sustainability major at the University of New Hampshire. I am so excited to gain hands-on experience this summer through the Nature Groupie Internship and make valuable connections with the variety of partners we will be working with.

I was born and raised near the seacoast in Newmarket, New Hampshire, right down the street from Adam’s Point Wildlife Management Area which is one of my favorite places to go. I have always enjoyed the outdoors, whether it be climbing rocks in my backyard, skiing, boating, swimming or anything else. My weekends in the summer as a kid were always spent at the beach and I quickly developed a love for the ocean. I began participating in marine conservation at a young age with the Blue Ocean Society beach clean-ups (particularly at Adam’s Point). This developed into greater volunteer projects by working at their discovery center at Hampton Beach in 2015, and aboard their whale watch out of Rye Harbor in 2016. Following those summers, I began to work at Great Bay Marine, spending my days on the water as a dock hand. When seeking an internship for this summer, I could not imagine being anywhere but outdoors, so I was delighted to find this amazing opportunity with Nature Groupie to further my experience in conservation activism as well as being surrounded by the environment I love.

I am eager to learn from this experience with Nature Groupie and bring this new knowledge with me as I enter my final year at UNH. I hope to begin a career in sustainability post graduation to continue to honor my passions for conservation and the environment. I am looking forward to this summer!

Julia Matthews

My name is Julia Matthews and I just finished my first year at the University of New Hampshire as a transfer junior majoring in Environmental Science: Ecosystems. UNH immediately welcomed me with incredible opportunities for my growth and success, one of the most significant opportunities being my internship with UNH Extension’s Nature Groupie. I can’t wait to gain more experience in the field working alongside the Nature Groupie team and their partners!

I grew up in Rye, NH where I spent most of my childhood through my teenage years in tide pools and oceanside trails of Odiorne Point State Park. I would hum to periwinkles, dissect seaweed, and teach my friends the correct way to pick up crabs without hurting them. Aside from aquatic ecosystems, I found myself in awe of New Hampshire’s inland wildlife through family hiking trips up north at Mount Major, Cathedral Ledge, Diana’s Baths, Franconia Ridge, and more. My passion for connecting with the outdoors and the inner peace it gives me proved to be the only career path that made sense.

I am looking forward to using what I’ve learned in the classroom at UNH into the field with Nature Groupie! This will also be a great opportunity for me to narrow down my variety of career interests and meet more people passionate in the field.

Olivia Pitta

My name is Olivia Pitta and I am a senior at UNH studying Environmental Conservation and Sustainability. I am looking forward to my summer with Nature Groupie and learning much more about our precious local ecosystems! I anticipate growing a great appreciation for field work and those involved in keeping land stewardship accessible.

I am originally from Long Island, New York which allowed me to explore coastal ecosystems right in my backyard. I am naturally drawn to the ocean and the outdoors as it reminds me how alive everything around us is. In my time at UNH I have become more interested in connecting the natural science of the world to people. I love being outdoors and exploring but I think the people you can share the experience with is what makes it that much more special. I love hiking, skiing, live music, city-dwelling, and new food, and can hopefully find some time this summer to revisit these passions after such a tough year.

I am thrilled for this summer with Nature Groupie to work with local people and organizations.  I am especially interested in our Perennial Pepperweed project as we will be working on the coast and doing some essential work in keeping invasives under control. I am confident our work this summer will expand my interests and knowledge in natural resources and prepare me for future work in the field.