In June of 2016, thanks to a generous five-year endowment from the Joyce C. and William C. O’Neil Charitable Trust, North Shore Land Alliance launched an official internship program. The program, modeled after the Student Conservation Association, is called the Joyce and William O’Neil Steward Program. Through this new program these interns, who were selected on a competitive basis, will gain a variety of skills from writing management plans for preserves, mapping trails, organizing volunteer and fundraising events, managing invasive plants, installing a woodland trail at Wawapek and educating the public about conservation. It is our hope that this experience with a variety of projects, will help the O’Neil Stewards build their job skills and inspire them to consider a career in conservation.
From a pool of highly qualified applicants, four college students were selected by four conservation professionals. Amanda Furcall, our internship coordinator, will manage the interns who will be working for 12 weeks over the summer and receiving a competitive stipend. For the Land Alliance, an organization whose land holdings are growing quickly, the Joyce and William O’Neil Stewards will provide much needed hands-on caring for our preserves.
We are very grateful to the Joyce C. and William C. O’Neil Charitable Trust for this fabulous opportunity to train the next generation of conservation stewards.
2016 Internship Program Participants
Joseph Murphy is a junior in Sustainability Studies at Hofstra University, where he co-founded and serves as treasurer to the Sustainability Club. He has been a leader in the Discovery Program when introducing new Hofstra students to State parks and the concepts of sustainability. He enthusiastically designed and maintains two on-campus vegetable gardens.
Conor O’Sullivan graduated from Hunter College with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Environmental Studies. Conor’s interest in conservation has taken precedence and he has worked for the Greenbelt Native Plant Center where he learned to collect and process native seeds. Volunteering at the Hempstead Plains Environmental Education Center he removed invasive plants. With the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, he was an environmental educator and led teens on camping trips in the Adirondacks.
Jeb Polstien is a junior in the Environmental Studies department at Bowdoin College. Last summer he was a stewardship intern for the Land Conservancy of New Jersey where he learned many of the skills needed to excel at the Land Alliance. He has led outdoor education camps and spent a term in India studying urban agriculture.
Lauren Weller has just graduated from SUNY Cortland with a BA in Conservation Biology. She has organized large-scale volunteer projects for the Mahwah Environmental Organization as well as provided educational programs for the community.
For more information about the North Shore Land Alliance Joyce and William O’Neil Steward Program, please call 516-922-1028.