Summer Intern Stories - 2016


In 2016, we had two UNH undergraduates, Megan Verfaillie and Amanda Cugno, working with Nature Groupie (formerly called the Stewardship Network: New England) as summer interns. Our two interns for the summer each had an interesting and diverse schedule for 10 weeks with our research and conservation partners. Here they are to tell you a little about themselves. Check out their stories throughout the summer from their internship experiences.

2016 Stories:

Megan Verfaillie - NH EPSCoR Clean Water and Citizen Science Intern

My name is Megan Verfaillie and I’m the summer intern for the NH EPSCoR Project on Clean Water and Citizen Science. My role through the Stewardship Network: New England is to involve citizen scientists in real research being done at the University of New Hampshire. This summer I’ll be organizing a few events in the Great Bay area that will involve citizen scientists, so be sure to keep an eye out! I’ll also be visiting other citizen science events and learning more about how these events are planned and what motivates volunteers. In addition, I will be working on several projects with the NH Sea Grant.

I have the opportunity to work with:

  • University of New Hampshire
  • The Stewardship Network: New England
  • NH Sea Grant
  • UNH Cooperative Extension

I’m from Nashua, NH and while it’s a densely populated city, it’s not too far from beautiful forests and seacoast. I grew up taking family hiking trips through the forests of New Hampshire and Massachusetts and since a very young age I have loved taking photographs of nature. New Hampshire’s forests and lakes have always been important to me and I’m excited to be working on a project that allows me to work with others that share my passion. This love of nature inspired me to pursue an Environmental Engineering major at the University of New Hampshire where I have just completed my first year. When I graduate, I hope to work on renewable energy and clean water to help stop or even reverse the damage being done to the environment every day.

I’m very excited to be starting this internship with the Stewardship Network: New England, UNH Cooperative Extension, and NH EPSCoR. Citizen science has the potential to do amazing things and I hope to learn not just from my own experiences but also those of the volunteers I will have the privilege of working with. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my summer!

In the next two months I will be posting updates about the projects I’m working on and interesting things happening around the Stewardship Network. If you’d like to hear more about what I am up to keep checking this page to read my stories. I’ll be sure to include some of the pictures I take along the way. I’m looking forward to an exciting summer full of new experiences with the great team here at the Stewardship Network.

Amanda Cugno - Stewardship Network: New England Summer Intern

My name is Amanda Cugno, and I am a University of New Hampshire student going into my last semester in the Wildlife and Conservation Biology program.  This summer I will be working with a variety of organizations to complete environmental projects in New Hampshire.  I will be doing trail work, invasive plant control, forest inventory, habitat managament, and other types of nature-based work.  Many projects will help maintain environmental health on properties under conservation easements, and others will be related to public recreation in protected areas. 

My last semester this fall will be spent in New Zealand through UNH's EcoQuest program, where I will be taking field-based courses and participating in a team research project related to current environmental issues in New Zealand. Following graduation I hope to work in a research or wildlife management position, before applying to graduate school for my field. This past year I had the opportunity to work for New Hampshire GRANIT, where I worked on a variety of mapping projects and learned an array of GIS skills, which will help in my future wildlife work.

I grew up in Coventry, Rhode Island, and vacationed every summer with my family to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and every winter to the mountains of Maine. These vacations put me out in nature where I developed a great respect for wildlife and the environment.  I also started photographing nature--and still do--and found that I wanted to make my career working in nature.

I am very excited for this intern experience with the Stewardship Network: New England and its partnering organizations!  I will have the opportunity to work with:

I can't wait to get started helping these organizations with their summer projects and learning about their work!  I will be writing stories about my experiences as the summer progresses, and I will be posting them here!