Meet the 2023 Interns

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


Kitt Urdang

Beneficial Electrification Fellow

Sitka Conservation Society

Kitt Urdang is entering her final semester at Williams College, where she studies history. Her past work as a field organizer for the Montana Democratic Party, legislative intern for Senator Richard Blumenthal, and intern at a Vermont town’s energy committee led her to understand the urgent need for climate action. At Williams, she edits the school newspaper, serves as a junior advisor, teaches history and environmental science through the local schools, and enjoys skiing and hiking in the Berkshires. Kitt’s goal in environmental work is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by adopting energy efficiency measures and working to secure a fast and equitable transition to renewable energy. She is thrilled to be fulfilling her childhood dream of going to Alaska and can’t wait to explore Sitka and the Tongass National Forest!


Kira Lena Lajarnie

Environmental and Community Health Researcher/Advocate

Alaska Community Action on Toxics

Kira is an indigequeer Yup’ik person who lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her wife and sister. She believes that environmental justice can be achieved only by honoring the perspectives of indigenous peoples, who have lived in relationship with the land for countless generations. Kira actively stewards the land of her ancestors by finding and promoting sustainable lifeways. Current pursuits include repairing items instead of replacing them, composting food waste, and re-wilding the land that “belongs” to her family (though the Earth cannot be owned, they take responsibility for this small parcel). Kira holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in public health, with professional experience in research and data. She looks forward to community-based research and organizing with ACAT this summer.


Emily Jones

Community Engagement Specialist

Catch 49

Emily Jones is a rising senior at Middlebury College in Vermont majoring in Sociology and Anthropology. She has lived in 2 countries and 4 states but feels at home anywhere in the mountains. As a volunteer firefighter, trail runner, and avid mountaineer, Emily is passionate about breaking boundaries in outdoor spaces. She looks forward to working with Catch 49 this summer and sampling all of the seafood that Alaska has to offer!



Kellen Woodcock

Community Engagement Specialist

Catch 49

Kellen is from Beaverton, Oregon and grew up exploring the forests and watersheds of the Pacific Northwest. He is currently majoring in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Science while minoring in Ethnic Studies at Oregon State University. He hopes to work in a field that protects earth’s natural resources, and is passionate about anadromous salmonids and how protecting their habitat can lead to a benefit for all. In his free time he enjoys fly fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and playing baseball. He is excited to work with Catch 49 this summer to get Alaskan seafood into Alaskan hands, and to explore everything the beautiful state has to offer. 


Macklyn Hutchison

People & Parks Intern

Anchorage Parks Foundation

Macklyn Hutchison is originally from Texas but now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her partner and their dog. She is entering her second and final year as a Master’s student in Urban Planning and Natural Resource Management at the University of Minnesota. Macklyn fell in love with Alaska while working the summer season at Denali National Park in 2018, and is thrilled to be coming back to the state she hopes to make her home one day. She strongly believes that humans are part of ecosystems just like any living thing and that protecting the environment means engaging in a responsible relationship with it, not removing ourselves from it. As an aspiring park planner, she hopes to spend her career making high-quality parks and trails more accessible and more equitably distributed. In her free time, you can usually find Macklyn doing something outside, whether foraging for wild edible plants in city parks or backpacking in the mountains. 


Arianna Suárez

Public Lands and Climate Change Advocate

Audubon Alaska

Arianna is an upcoming Junior at Williams College excited to visit and learn about Alaska this summer with Audubon Alaska. At Williams she studies Political Science and takes great interest in environmental studies and geosciences. She is looking forward to exploring the intersection between public lands conservation work and community engagement.


Jessica Anaruk

Program and Outreach Assistant

Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association

Jessica Anaruk is Yupik, born and raised in Alaska, studying Environmental Conservation and Management at Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado. She’s grown up subsistence fishing with her family every summer at their fish camp on the slough of the Kuskokwim River. She is now a commercial fisherwoman in Bristol Bay during the summers and is involved with behavioral health research for rural villages within the state of Alaska at other times of the year. She is also working towards a Regenerative Food Systems Certificate, as well as a minor in Geology. She enjoys learning, gaining new experiences, and creating new ways to help her community.


Kendall Johanson

Climate and Wild Salmon Intern 

Cook Inletkeeper

Kendall Johanson was born and raised in Alaska. Her life’s been spent outdoors enjoying all the beauty and resources Alaska has to offer from hiking, biking, camping, and fishing in the summers, to skiing and snowmachining in the winters. Her love for the outdoors and environment is what led her to pursue a degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Living in these two beautiful places has furthered her love and appreciation for nature as well as learning more about promoting sustainable and traditional land management practices. She hopes to pursue a career back in Alaska doing fisheries science and researching the effects of our changing climate on coastal populations. Kendall is beyond excited and thankful to get to spend the summer in Homer, Alaska interning with Cook Inletkeeper as their Climate and Wild Salmon Intern.


Iram Inamdar

Engagement Intern

Trail Mix Inc.

Iram is a rising college junior at Minerva University. She grew up in India surrounded by farms, trees, and goats, which sparked her interest in the life sciences and her curiosity to learn about the environment through a biological lens. She is now traveling to different parts of the world with her college program. Iram is an aspiring researcher and climate enthusiast interested in ecology and climate policies. She’s inquisitive to learn about ecological interconnections through scientific studies and how climate change affects natural and social communities. Apart for her interest in STEM, she loves cooking, learning new languages, taking pictures of every flower she sees, and talking about the clouds!


Amy Patterson

Environmental Conservation Intern

Yukon Inter-Tribal Watershed Council

Amy is currently a senior majoring biology at Emory University. She was raised in Hilo, Hawai`i where she connected with her environment through a childhood of outdoor exploration. These experiences fostered a passion for protecting Hawaiian ecosystems and led her to pursue experience researching coral disease. In looking for ways to expand our current approaches to science, Amy also has experience teaching Native Hawaiian youth to view their environments through an Indigenous Hawaiian lens. This summer, she is eager to continue expanding her perspectives to Indigenous points of view and working to protect the Yukon Watershed. In Amy’s free time, she enjoys free-diving, backpacking, surfing, and crocheting.


Ellen Christensen

Youth Leadership Intern

The Alaska Center Education Fund

Bio coming soon.





Adayliah Ley

Peterson Bay Field Station Naturalist Intern

Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

Adayliah grew up in Central New Jersey where her parents introduced her to educational and environmental studies through their professions. Now attending college at Middlebury College in Vermont, Adayliah will complete a major in Architectural Studies and minors in Francophone Studies and Environmental Studies in May 2024. Hoping to better understand human impacts on the natural environment, Adayliah hopes to pursue a graduate degree in some form of sustainable urban planning or environmental education. Outside of academics, Adayliah enjoys rock climbing, ceramics, cooking, and backpacking. Never having been to Alaska before, Adayliah is excited to spend her summer with CACS and dive deeper into the outdoors.


Finn Newman

Stream Watch Intern

Kenai Watershed Forum

Finn is a junior environmental studies and history major at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He has always dreamt of coming to Alaska and following in the footsteps of his family members who have lived here for years, and he’s so excited to get to come here as an Ted Smith Intern! When Finn’s not interning at an awesome organization, you can find him hiking, biking, backpacking, or collecting patches for his collection!


Hilary Landfried

Skipper Science Intern

Aleut Community of St. Paul

Hilary Landfried recently graduated from Princeton University with her Masters of Public Affairs. She specializes in climate adaptation, land use, and food security and approaches the policymaking process through inclusive participatory processes, systems thinking, and strategic foresight. Previously, Hilary was a design specialist and strategic facilitator at the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, where she advised teams on strategic planning and program design for multi-year emergencies and food security programs. She also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service managing climate smart agriculture and natural resources programs in Tanzania, Kenya, and Pakistan. She began her career promoting renewable fuels for household energy in East Africa and the Caribbean. Hilary is honored to work for the the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island this summer.


Maya Reda-Williams

Skipper Science Intern

Aleut Community of St. Paul

Maya is from Sitka, Alaska, and currently is a graduate student at the University of Maine in Anthropology and Environmental Policy. She is interested in Alaska Native tribal fisheries management and co-management systems within the state and sovereignty within Alaskan fisheries. Maya’s interests are situated in her experience growing up in Southeast Alaska fishing commercially and for subsistence, and she is passionate about the health of our fisheries and decolonizing approaches to fisheries management and governance systems in Alaska.



Evan Triemstra

Summer Camp Outdoor Leader

Discovery Southeast

My name is Evan Triemstra (he/him), I am from Kalamazoo, Michigan. I am currently studying Secondary Science Education at Calvin University. In my free time, I enjoy running, lifting, hiking, and reading. I have never been to Alaska, but I cannot wait to learn more about its natural history, connect to people there, and see what God has in store for camp this summer. Seeing whales, inspiring kids to appreciate the beautiful creation around them, and hiking up mountains on the weekends are other things I especially look forward to.