Learn about this year’s outstanding cohort of Ted Smith Conservation Interns and the meaningful projects they are working on this summer!


Daniel Ahrens

Science Intern
Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council

As the Science Intern, Daniel will collect water samples in rural Alaska, coordinate incoming samples from villages and outgoing samples to USGS, develop outreach materials, and assist with three Talking Circles about mining issues in rural Yukon River communities, all with the aim of preserving the Yukon River for future generations.

Daniel Ahrens is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley where he studied Environmental Science. From growing up in Northern New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley to spending his last summer working on climate-induced relocation in the Arctic, Daniel thrives negotiating the nexus of human identity and resource management. Daniel has previously studying river geomorphology at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Native American Policy at the White House Domestic Policy Council, and synthesized the two at NOAA improving scientific networks in Alaska. He recently finished his senior thesis on Native American water governance, synthesizing qualitative and quantitative policy analyses. One of four boys, Daniel learned to be self-reliant and regularly solo travels through the American West. A listener first and foremost, Daniel is a thoughtful and equitable leader that’s excited to engage with the important work of ACF and the Yukon River Intertribal Watershed Council this summer.


Carly Dennis

Environmental Communications & Eco Advocacy Intern
Sitka Conservation Society

As the Environmental Communications & Eco Advocacy Intern, Carly will use a variety of communication tools including design, graphics, social media, writing, and mass communication opportunities to get the public involved in environmental activism, expose bad management practices, and hold elected leaders accountable.

Carly was born and raised in Eagle River, Alaska. After graduating high school, she chose to take a gap year to travel and learn. She spent time in the Dominican Republic at a school for girls before returning to Alaska to intern with the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and the Alaska Legislature. Next year, she’ll enroll at Pitzer College to study environmental policy. 


Corinne Fischer

Wild Salmon & Climate Change Intern
Cook Inletkeeper

As the Wild Salmon & Climate Change Intern, Corinne will focus on salmon habitat protection in a changing climate. Corinne will assist with Inletkeeper’s field work to understand patterns of increasing water temperatures and will also be involved with outreach activities to educate local citizens about clean water and healthy salmon.

Corinne was born in Zürich, Switzerland and raised in the suburbs outside New York City. She is half-Swiss and half-Chinese, and is fluent in German and Swiss German. She is a rising senior studying Environmental Studies (Ecosystems) and Geography Computer Applications in Human Environmental Analysis (GIS) at Binghamton University (State University of New York). Corinne is extremely passionate about the environment and its wildlife, and is still trying to navigate her way through her vast range of interests within her fields of study. She loves being outdoors, and is very open to adventure. Name an outdoor-related activity and she will probably do it at least once. She also loves traveling, languages, and trying new foods. In addition to learning about Alaskan wildlife and culture, she hopes to serve as a bridge between scientists and the public on environmental issues through this internship.


Haley Kardek

Outreach & Online Engagement Intern
Southeast Alaska Conservation Council

As the Outreach & Online Engagement Intern, Haley will develop and implement outreach events and oversee SEACC’s new online app, Tongass Snapshots, which is designed to record inspirational, intact ecosystems and display them on maps that identify and show land management designations and ecological values to help visitors understand the place they’re exploring. 

Haley is currently 22-years-old and a junior at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She was born in the Boston area and moved around a lot when she was young with her parents and two younger sisters. For the past 14 years, her family has lived in Northern California; however, she has continued to find ways to travel and learn about different places and communities through studying abroad in India for a semester in high school, taking a gap year in Chile, and studying away at a traveling maritime studies program this past fall semester. At Vassar, she is studying International Studies and Biology as well as spending her free time rowing on the Women’s Rowing Team, helping run the school’s photography club, and taking friends climbing and hiking.

Haley is thrilled about working with SEACC as she is passionate about environmental issues, finding creative solutions to these complicated issues, and empowering all stakeholder voices in decision-making processes. She has had the immense privilege to explore and interact with varied natural landscapes through her love for photography, traveling, backpacking, and rock climbing, and now feels a sense of responsibility to help protect and maintain those places for others.


Adriana Long

Organizer Intern
Alaska Center

As the Organizer Intern, Adriana will work to build power for local clean energy projects, salmon conservation, and civic engagement in Alaska by educating and engaging thousands of individuals to take action and volunteer on an array of campaigns and issues.

As a multi-cultural person, Corinne grew up in several places… she lived in the high-desert country of Chihuahua, Mexico when she was young, then her family moved to Chico, California. She is passionate about protecting the natural environment and cares deeply about the well-being of all people. If you were to catch her on a sunny day, you would find her playing music out in a field somewhere, calmly breathing in the beauty of her surroundings. Her curious mind and adventurous heart have led her to experience the world in diverse ways, and she can’t imagine stopping anytime soon. She loves to dance, whitewater kayak, rock climb, play music, run, bike, watercolor, and say yes to any adventure!


Jessica Menges

Conservation Advocacy & Outreach Specialist
Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association

As the Conservation Advocacy & Outreach Specialist, Jessica will assist with strategic advocacy at local, state and national levels utilizing outreach, communication and further development of ALFA’s networks and programming to leverage partnerships and to advocate for resource stewardship, conservation policy and small-boat, conservation-minded fishermen.

Jessica is just beginning her Master’s thesis at the University of Rhode Island exploring fishermen’s satisfaction with IFQ safeguards in the Pacific Halibut Fishery. She has a background in Marine Biology and a USCG Mate’s license. She is committed to combining her passions and experiences to create more sustainable fisheries and fishing communities. Jessica has previously been to Sitka while working on a tugboat, but is looking forward to actually stepping foot on land to explore the beautiful town and mountains! If she is not knee deep in fisheries research you may find Jessica out on the water, painting, backcountry skiing, or running with her dog Diesel.


Terese Schomogyi

Stream Watch Intern
Kenai Watershed Forum

As the Stream Watch Intern, Terese will develop and implement river and salmon habitat protection projects as well as train, engage and support volunteers while educating the public and enjoying the scenic beauty of the Kenai Peninsula.

Terese is a rising junior at the University of Notre Dame majoring in Political Science with minors in both Sustainability and International Peace Studies. Though she spends her school days in northern Indiana, her true roots are planted in Tacoma, Washington, where she deeply loves hiking around Mount Rainier and chasing Pacific Northwest sunsets. Terese is passionate about the intersections between social justice, storytelling and community building, and the natural world. Some things on her bucket list include through-hiking the Appalachian trail, joining the Peace Corps, and (inspired by an introductory class in horticulture) cultivating a small garden homestead.


Jing Si

Environmental & Community Health Researcher/Advocate 
Alaska Community Action on Toxics

As the Environmental & Community Health Researcher/Advocacte, Jing will conduct community-based field research, assist with educational and outreach programs, synthesize emerging scientific information, and prepare informational materials to inform and engage people in our state, national, and international policy work, while also offering information about safe alternatives to prevent harmful exposures to toxic chemicals.

Jing is a 1st year master of public health student at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, with concentration in Environmental Health. Born in Tibet, China, she has always been interested in how humans, animals and the environment are connected and interacted. She hopes this internship in Alaska will give her an opportunity to apply her public health knowledge into a real world setting and provide better health for both humans, animals and the environment.


Adam Spaulding-Astudillo

Youth Outdoor Educator
Discovery Southeast

As the Youth Outdoor Educator, Adam will lead hands-on environmental education lessons and activities for elementary aged students as well as conduct outreach, communication, and development projects for the organization. 

Coming from northern Illinois, Adam has had the opportunity to work for several years as an On-Farm Educator at an organic farm – one that doubles as a learning center and day camp. He is thrilled to bring what he has learned over the years to his work at Discovery Southeast to contribute to their mission in Alaska. As a student at Cornell University, he is majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, inspired by his self-identified status as an animal lover. But, as an individual, he is also quite musically oriented; whether it be playing guitar and piano, or participating in a Latino Dance Ensemble at his university, you’ll always find Adam wherever the drum is beating.


Erika Stroh

Fisheries Conservation Intern
Alaska Marine Conservation Council

As the Fisheries Conservation Intern, Erika will support of efforts to reduce bycatch and catalyze community-based fishing opportunities. She will conduct outreach on behalf of AMCC in coastal Alaska, especially southcentral communities, and play a lead role in creating new material that better tells the story of AMCC’s work and more effectively engages the public.

Erika is a junior at Liberty University obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, but has always dreamed of moving out to the coast as she loves fishing, swimming, and anything outdoors. She is excited to have the opportunity to move to Alaska for the summer and to gain practical, hands-on experience of all that she has learned in the classroom.


Brittni Teresi

Naturalist Intern
Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

As the Naturalist Intern, Brittni will inspire and motivate people to preserve and protect Alaska’s and their own home environments. Brittni will contribute to CACS research and education programs by participating in a citizen monitoring project as well as conducting independent research and programming aligned with these goals. 

Brittni is majoring in Environmental Studies and Psychology and will be a senior at Swarthmore College in the fall of 2018. She was born and raised in the city of Las Vegas, NV. While She has always been a desert creature in love with the sun, she also has a passion for birds, trees, and fostering a connection between people and the natural environment. In the summer of 2017, she worked at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute in Tennessee, helping to run a public bird banding station and teaching people about the beauty of the Smokies. She is extremely excited to take this work even further with Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies.  Her goal is to re-establish a love between people and the natural environment in as many ways as possible.