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Meet Our 2019 Interns | Training the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders

By: Nick LaScala - Social Media & Photography Intern
Monday, July 1, 2019

About the Adirondack Council Internship Program

Through the Clarence Petty Internship Program, the Adirondack Council is committed to offering interns an experience that will prepare them for employment in an environmental non-profit, government agency, or related field by working alongside professionals at a nationally recognized conservation organization. Clarence Petty inspired many young conservationists and served on the Adirondack Council's Board of Directors. This year we are pleased to be expanding our program to have five interns and we look forward to their enthusiasm and fresh perspective on the challenges facing the Adirondack Park. They are: 

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Julia Randall 

What school do you attend and what are you studying? 

I just graduated from Williams College, where I studied English, Environmental Studies, and Music. 

What are you working on at the Adirondack Council this summer? 

I am working on a variety of projects related to conservation, focusing primarily on overuse and wilderness in the Adirondacks. Over the course of the summer, I will also be developing a white paper, likely pertaining to renewable energy development in the Adirondacks. 

What interests you the most about the Adirondack Park? 

I’ve never been in a place with such a strong environmental ethic. It’s endlessly fascinating to me that in the Park, wilderness is not thought of as some faraway place or lofty idea. It’s something people interact with -- and depend on -- every day. 

What is your favorite Adirondack animal and why?   

If you’ve seen that video of Kristin Bell freaking out about meeting a sloth, you have an idea of how I feel about otters. Name a cuter animal! You can’t. They’ve got big brown eyes and soft fur, and they make the strangest little noises. I’m a bit jealous of the life otters lead in the Adirondacks -- swimming, lounging, fishing, somersaulting the day away. 

What is your favorite Adirondack tree and why? 

It’s a tough call, but I have to go with the paper birch. As a kid, I was fascinated by scrolls of birch bark and would carve little messages into ones that had fallen on the ground. Its white color always reminds me of winter, too. 

What’s the most useless talent you have? 

I can do a truly atrocious Frankie Valli impression. 

 

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Emily Schwartz

What school do you attend and what are you studying?  
I currently attend Colgate University and I am studying Environmental Studies, Geography, and Geology. 

What are you working on at the Adirondack Council this summer?  
I’m working on how climate change is impacting farms in the Park, how we can assess those impacts, current resiliency measures in place, and how other solutions in similar regions could be applied here 

What interests you the most about the Adirondack Park? 

Something I find interesting about the park is that with its six million acres, it is the largest publicly protected area in the US (bigger than the Everglades, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone combined). The park has been given constitutional protection unlike any other park in the United States, which I believe New Yorkers should be particularly proud of. I am also interested in the lands designated as wilderness areas within the park, such as the High Peaks Region.  

What is your favorite Adirondack animal? 

Beavers are my favorite Adirondack animal because they are self-sufficient, eat plant material, and they can see underwater.  

What is your favorite Adirondack tree? 

My favorite Adirondack tree is the Sugar Maple because they can live hundreds of years, they are very resilient, have beautiful colors in the fall, and they like the cold. 

What’s the most useless talent you have?  

I can hyperextend my elbows. 

 

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Will Lutkewitte 

What school do you attend and what are you studying? 

I am a rising senior studying Environmental and Sustainability Sciences with a concentration in policy and governance at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. 

What are you working on at the Adirondack Council this summer? 

I am working with Julia Goren on the Adirondack Council’s Vision 2050 project. I will be focusing on state land stewardship within the park by doing research, data collection, and analysis on the presentation of trails and campsites, along with Leave No Trace messaging at trailheads. 

What interests you the most about the Adirondack Park? 

The thing that interests me the most about the Adirondack Park is the unique combination of state and private land that make it this massive stage for conservation. 

What is your favorite Adirondack animal? 

Black bear. They’re big, but quick and agile; and while they may look adorable, you definitely don’t want to mess with them. Also, I’m a big fan of the show The Office: “Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica” 

What is your favorite Adirondack tree? 

Quercus Rubra- Northern Red Oak. Go big red! 

What’s the most useless talent you have?  

My useless talent is probably forgetting where I set something down for a short period of time, scrambling to retrace my steps to look for it, then finding it with the feeling that I knew where it was the whole time. One might consider that a personal flaw, but I’ve done it too much at this point that I think I’ve made it a talent. 

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Nicholas LaScala 

What school do you attend and what are you studying? 

I currently attend Clarkson University, where I am studying marketing, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  

What are you working on at the Adirondack Council this summer? 

I’m currently working on a social media campaign to bring awareness to the threat of overuse in the Adirondack Park to environmentalists nation-wide as well as educate the people who live, work, or play inside the Blue Line. Fortunately, I get to do this by going and exploring the Park with my camera.  

What interests you the most about the Adirondack Park? 

My family has spent all our time enjoying the Adirondacks at our camp in Indian Lake, so it’s a struggle to pick one thing, but it may just be how many amazing opportunities there are to hike somewhere new, have dinner in small Adirondack community, and meet like-minded people who are so passionate about the same things that I am.  

What is your favorite Adirondack animal and why?   

The Loon is my favorite Adirondack animal because they have an incredibly diverse set of characteristics and serve as an excellent sign of the current health of the Adirondack Park.  

What is your favorite Adirondack tree and why? 

Definitely the Yellow Birch because they smell like Wintergreen mints.  

What’s the most useless talent you have? 

Whenever I put on socks, I somehow always grab the left sock first.  

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Lizzie Fainberg

What school do you attend and what are you studying? 

I'm entering my third and final year at Vermont Law School studying food and agricultural law and policy. I'm particularly interested in building local and resilient food systems in rural communities. 

What are you working on at the Adirondack Council this summer? 

This summer, I'll be working on answering a number of research questions involving agriculture in the Adirondacks. I'll be focusing on the history and future of Adirondack agriculture, New York's new farmworker fair labor bill and its implications for Adirondack farmers, legal incentives for building soil health in the Park, and effective ways to encourage local food for human health in the region. 

What interests you the most about the Adirondack Park? 

The hiking here is incredible! I love how easy it is to pack up a bag, head out the door, and find an amazing and gorgeous peak to climb right in the area. I also appreciate how dedicated people in the Park are to maintaining its environmental integrity. Because of the strong conservation efforts here, we can still enjoy a hike through the wilderness and witness the pristine forests and biological diversity of the Adirondacks. This is truly a beautiful and special region. 

What is your favorite Adirondack animal and why?   

I love loons! Their calls are so enchanting and sound so otherworldly. 

What is your favorite Adirondack tree and why? 

This might be cliché but red maples are probably my favorite. They are so beautiful in autumn and are such a staple of the area.

What’s the most useless talent you have? 

I am really good at touching my tongue to my nose. Hasn't come in handy yet. 

   

 

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Nick LaScala is the Adirondack Council’s Clarence Petty Social Media and Photography Intern. He grew up in Franklin Lakes, NJ, but has deep roots in the Indian Lake community where he is a licensed NYS Outdoor Guide and sits on the Indian Lake Revitalization Committee. Nick is currently attending Clarkson University, studying Marketing Innovation and Entrepreneurship. During his internship, he will work with the marketing and communications team to expand the Adirondack Council efforts and capture the beauty of what makes the Adirondack Park unique. Whether it be hiking, whitewater rafting, or photography, Nick does whatever he can to continue to play an active role in the communities that have helped shape who he is today. 

 

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