CTNC Diversity Internship Program welcomes its next cohort.

Each year, the Conservation Trust for North Carolina supports promising future conservation leaders in paid summer internship positions at organization across North Carolina through our Diversity in Conservation Internship Program. This year’s program was made possible in partnership with AmeriCorps, the Land Trust Alliance, the National Park Service, the United States Forest Service, UNC-Asheville’s Center for Diversity Education and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.

Dia Adams
LandTrust for Central North Carolina 

Dia Adams was born in Manhattan, N.Y, and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. Dia graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a B.S in animal science. As an undergraduate, Dia was vice president and then president of Swing Phi Swing Phi Social Fellowship, Incorporated, an organization committed to affecting social change, supporting women in need of growth and promoting higher intelligence as they develop true sisterhood. This summer she will serve as the environmental education & outreach intern for the LandTrust for Central North Carolina.  In this position, she will connect with community members or all stripes and lead groups of middle school youth in field conservation, restoration ecology and environmental education programs.

Genevieve Barnes
N.C. State Historic Preservation Office
Genevieve Barnes, a native of Raleigh, N.C., just completed her first year of graduate school at UNC-Greensboro. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree in communication studies. This summer she will work at the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office as the Rosenwald School intern. This internship will provide Genevieve the opportunity to assist historic preservation consultants in the preparation of National Register of Historic Places nominations for various Rosenwald Schools. As a Rosenwald intern, she hopes to learn more about working with organizations that seek to help primary and secondary institutions preserve their historical architecture.

Erin Bishop
U.S. Forest Service

Erin was born and raised in Chapel Hill, N.C., and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.S. in environmental policy and management and a minor in economics. Erin’s interest in land use management began while interning for RiverLink, a nonprofit in Asheville, N.C., that works to protect the French Broad River and its tributaries using conservation easements. As a result, Erin realized that she wanted to pursue a career in land use management, and hopes to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to earn a master’s degree in land use and environmental planning. This summer, Erin will be the special uses specialist intern for the USDA Forest Service where she will assist in preparing and evaluating land use authorization proposals, in addition to monitoring their compliance.

Kenneth Dunn
Center for Human-Earth Restoration

Kenneth Dunn, Jr., of Durham, N.C. currently attends N.C. State University where he is pursuing a degree in environmental sciences with a minor in applied ecology. He has an associate’s degree in agriculture and is a member of Sigma Alpha Pi and Dau Tau Alpha fraternities. Kenneth works at the UNC Kenan-Flager Business School as a conference service assistant and at Duke basketball camps as a counselor. As the field educator intern with the Center for Human-Earth Restoration Conservation, Kenneth will help elementary and middle school kids understand the importance of nature and how it impacts every aspect of their lives.

Troy Hillian
Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

Troy M. Hillian is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina where he is a second-year student in the broadcasting and production technologies program at Forsyth Technical Community College. Troy enjoys cooking on the grill and going fishing. This summer, Troy will assist Music Program Director Richard Emmett at the Blue Ridge Foundation, where he will manage ticket distribution, and coordination, reach out to regional blues/bluegrass/folk organizations and assist with marketing.  Troy will also manage weekend concert set up, production and operations at the Blue Ridge Music Center and other venues throughout the region.

Olivia Jackson
The Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities Program

Olivia was born in New Jersey but raised in Durham, North Carolina. She is in her last semester before graduating with her associate’s degree in photojournalism. Olivia dreams of documenting not only rural North Carolina but also places all over the world.  This summer Olivia will serve as a photojournalism intern for The Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities program. She will be traveling all over the state to capture images of innovative community and conservation projects. Her work will help raise awareness of “triple bottom line” efforts and will support communities with much-needed materials to tell their stories.

Emily Johnson
National Park Service- Blue Ridge Parkway

Emily Johnson was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina when she was 11 years old. She currently attends North Carolina State University as a psychology and Spanish double major and will begin her junior year in the fall. She will work with the Blue Ridge Parkway this summer as the social media and community outreach intern in Asheville. Emily is excited to gain experience writing press releases, creating creative social media posts that showcase the parkway and continuing her work as a self-starter.

Sa’Metria Jones
Blue Ridge Forever

Sa’Metria Jones was born in Hampton, Virginia and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. She then attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Sa’Metria received her Bachelor of Arts in political science in May 2014 and started at the University of North Carolina School of Law in August of the same year. As a rising third-year who is currently undecided about what type of law she wants to practice, Sa’Metria is excited to gain exposure in environmental law this summer as the legal intern for Blue Ridge Forever. As a legal intern, Sa’Metria will research and address legal issues concerning conservation and land trust and the impact those issues will have on those who live in the affected area.

Samantha Liu
N.C. Coastal Land Trust

Yinan Liu (Samantha) is originally from a “small” city, with a population of seven million, called Tangshan in Northern China. She is a rising second-year student at Wake Forest University School of Law. This summer, she will intern with North Carolina Coastal Land Trust where she will work as a legal intern and assist with land acquisitions, conservation easements and legal researches on issues that arise from the ownership and management of land. She is excited to learn about the land conservation practices in the U.S. as well as to offer her knowledge of the law to assist North Carolina Coastal Land Trust in addressing its mission.

Trequan McGee
Wilson Botanical Garden

Tre is a rising senior at North Carolina A&T State University studying urban and community horticulture. This past year he served as president of the Collegiate FFA and N.C. Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Chapter in addition to several other leadership positions within the school of agriculture and environmental sciences. This summer he plans to educate 4H members in Wilson County about soil and plant health through the Junior Master Gardeners Program, which he will be instructing.

Taylor Mebane
Sandhills Family Heritage Association

Taylor Mebane was born in Ft. Hood, Texas but has since lived in six other states and one other country. She is currently in Fayetteville, N.C. Taylor is a senior studying environmental technology and management within the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University. She is an active ambassador of the College of Natural Resources and leads the Committee for Diversity, which works toward creating an open, diverse community in the College of Natural Resources. Over the next few months, Taylor will be a native plant trail intern with the Sandhills Family Heritage Association where she will help manage the trail and well as assist facilitating community outreach programs.

Natriefia Miller
Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Natrieifia Miller is from the small town of Dunn, North Carolina. She moved to Asheville seeking a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Originally striving to become a veterinarian, Natrieifia’s goals changed while taking an animal behavior course. There she discovered a passion for being outside, as well as an interest in conservation efforts. With her summer position as Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) leadership intern, Natrieifia will be working to “broaden relevancy” of the trail. By compiling web-based video training resources of trail management and maintenance best-practices as well as conducting listening sessions, she hopes not only to promote interest in the trail to a broader audience but also inspire that new generation of people to value and steward the trail well into our future.

Avery Olearczyk
Catawba Lands Conservancy & The Carolina Thread Trail

Avery Olearczyk, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, graduated from Guilford College with double bachelor’s degrees in biology and environmental studies, and a minor in economics. Avery has completed fieldwork and independent research with the School for Field Studies in Queensland, Australia, and with the Audubon Center of the Northwoods in Sandstone, Minnesota. Avery is passionate about ecology, conservation biology and sustainability, and hopes to explore these areas through this position. She is excited to photograph and document The Carolina Thread Trail and aims to support local community connections to the natural environment. Avery will begin post-baccalaureate work at UNC-Charlotte this fall to continue her love of learning.

Damein Parker
Eno River Association

Damien Parker was raised in Wilson, North Carolina and is currently a senior at North Carolina State University where he studies environmental science with a concentration in applied ecology and forest conservation. This summer, he will be working with Eno River Association in preparation of their yearly Festival of the Eno. Damien hopes to gain knowledge on how conservation information is relayed to the public and how this connection affects people’s views of our natural systems and resources.

Alexa Wright
Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association

Alexa Wright was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated from Oberlin College in May of 2014 with a B.A. in biology. She currently attends North Carolina State University and is finishing her master’s degree in horticultural science. This summer, Alexa will intern with the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, where she will assist with stewardship and outreach. By expanding community involvement and assisting with creek management, she hopes to preserve the creek and increase environmental awareness in the watershed area.

Aranda “Randee” Young
U.S. Forest Service

Aranda “Randee” Young hails from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. As a native of Hilton Head Island, she is a seventh-generation islander with roots in Gullah culture. Randee graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in business administration, double majoring in marketing and real estate with a minor in women’s studies. Randee recently graduated from North Carolina Central University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree on May 13, 2016. While at North Carolina Central University, Randee also received a Master of Business Administration. She will begin a Master of Laws (L.L.M.) program at the Washington University School of Law located in St. Louis, Missouri. This summer she will be working with the USDA Forest Service as a land adjustment specialist resource assistant. Randee plans on combining her legal expertise with the knowledge gained this summer to help people in her native South Carolina with heirs’ property disputes.

Emily Zucker
Coharie Intra-Tribal Council

Emily is originally from Winchester, Virginia and currently attends North Carolina State University studying mathematics and statistics. Emily will be working with the Coharie tribe this summer in Clinton, N.C. The Coharie tribe is currently undergoing a project called the Great Coharie River Initiative (GCRI). They are cleaning out their river, which is primarily blocked with beaver dams and large foliage, in order to allow access for fishing, kayaking and other recreational activities. Emily will be assisting in this project by coordinating protection plans for the river and creating a business model for future economic development of the river cleaning volunteers.