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44 ESF Students Spend Summer as DEC Interns

‘Phenomenal’ range of work can help launch careers
Posted October 2016

"I tell students to look at it as a very long job interview," said Dr. David Newman, describing the potential impact of summer internships with the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

This past summer, 44 ESF graduate and undergraduate students worked with the DEC's Division of Lands and Forests, said Newman, chair of the college's Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management (FNRM). Internships covered a variety of areas and projects ranging from doing urban forestry projects to running boundary lines, and helping with pest and disease work to serving as access site stewards on state waterways.

"The range of work has been phenomenal," said Newman.

The internship program pairs ESF undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates with summer internships offered by the DEC. "These are well-paid internships," Newman noted.

Since the partnership began five years ago, approximately 150 students have gone through the program. "A number of them now have permanent positions with the DEC," said Newman.

One of this summer's participants was Jennifer Kotary, who began her DEC internship with the DEC Urban Forestry Program just two days after she graduated from ESF's Ranger School. Her internship research "involved in-depth exploration of what communities are doing to protect and build green infrastructure across the state," said Kotary, who graduated with an associate of applied science in environmental and natural resources conservation. She was able to show there is a statewide effort to expand the green infrastructure as well as numerous career and volunteer opportunities to become involved.

"Urban forestry has connected me to my passion," Kotary said. "My next endeavor is a temporary position as a DEC forest technician in forest health."

Andrew Sinchuk, who graduated the Ranger School in May and is now pursuing his bachelor of science at ESF, spent his weekends at Lake Ronkonkoma educating boaters about aquatic invasive species. During the week he did vegetation and fish surveys, pulled sein and fyke nets,, conducted clinics with I Fish New York, and did invasive species pulls.

"We worked on a couple of projects," he said. "One was locating native brook trout in small streams on Long Island to secure grant money, another was searching for an endangered species, banded sunfish, in Long Island's small ponds." A third project involved ensuring the alewife had a big enough culvert to migrate to Big Reed Pond in Montauk from Lake Montauk.

Following is a list of all ESF stuudents and alumni who participated in interships with the DEC this past summer (including student's name, hometown, academic program and graduation year; they are undergraduates unless otherwise noted):

  • Maren Alexander, Wilmette, Illinois, environmental resources management, 2016
  • Charlotte Atti, Canandaigua, New York, M.S. - environmental forest biology, 2017
  • Callee Baker, Warrensburg, New York, forest resources management, 2016
  • Paul Baker, Buskirk, New York, forest resources management, 2017
  • Jordan Bodway, Sylvan Beach, New York, environmental science, 2016
  • Allison Brady, Patchogue, New York, conservation biology, 2017
  • April Brun, Ballston Spa, New York, conservation biology, 2017
  • Katelinn Carrier, Syracuse, New York, natural resources management, 2016
  • Tess Clark, Syracuse, New York, MS, environmental studies, 2017
  • Makayla Comas, Brooklyn, New York, environmental studies - communications, 2017
  • Kelley Corbine, Canton, New York, M.S. - forestry, 2017
  • Taylor Della Rocco, Berne, New York, environmental science, 2016
  • Nicholas Dietschler, Lansing, NY, conservation biology, 2016
  • Nicolas Echevarria, Port Jervis, New York, environmental and natural resources conservation (Ranger School), 2016
  • Ava Ferreira, Oceanside, New York, forest technology (Ranger School), 2016
  • Megan Gorss, Greenfield Center, New York, environmental resources engineering, 2017
  • Donald Guest, Middleburgh, New York, natural resources management, 2016
  • Robert Gunther, Cobleskill, New York, natural resources management, 2016
  • Julia Hart, Rexford, New York, forest health, 2016
  • Nicholas Hodom, Delmar, New York, environmental science, 2016
  • Allison Holmes, Springwater, New York, environmental and natural resources conservation (Ranger School), 2016
  • Jennifer Kotary, Troy, New York, environmental and natural resources conservation (Ranger School), 2016
  • Wade Leung, Brooklyn, New York, wildlife science, 2016
  • Michael Loquet, Riverhead, New York, wildlife science, 2017
  • Alex McGraw, Victor, New York, forest ecosystem science, 2016
  • Emily Menendez, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, environmental forest biology, 2016
  • Ashley Metz, Burnt Hills, New York, land surveying technology (Ranger School), 2016
  • Amanda Miller, Nesconset, New York, MS - environmental monitoring and modeling, 2017
  • David Nesbitt, Auburn, New York , MS - entomology, 2017
  • Samantha Oliveras, Baldwinsville, New York, natural resources management, 2015
  • Aaron Padden, Wellsville, New York, land surveying technology (Ranger School), 2016
  • Olivia Paetow, Palenville, New York, environmental science, 2017
  • Timothy Pietrzykowski, Churchville, New York, natural resources management, 2017
  • Morgan Purdy, Fishkill, New York, wildlife science, 2017
  • Nicholas Radford, Fairport, New York, conservation biology, 2016
  • Jane Raffaldi, West Hurley, New York, M.P.S. - conservation biology, 2017
  • James Reed, Cambridge, New York, wildlife science, 2017
  • Sundas Rehman, Suffern, New York, conservation biology, 2016
  • David Rhodes, Amherst, New York, forest technology (Ranger School), 2016
  • James Rittenhouse, Northport, New York, forest technology (Ranger School), 2016
  • Elizabeth Sammons, Burnt Hills, New York, environmental science, 2018
  • Andrew Sinchuk, Wantagh, New York, environmental and natural resources conservation (Ranger School), 2016
  • Stephen Slonosky, Elbridge, New York, forest health, 2016
  • Evan Sweeney, Brooklyn, New York, M.S. - forest and natural resources management, 2017

ESF Students Make their Mark