From the mountains to the coast, these selfless young people are educating others and protecting the environment for generations to come. We’re wishing this cohort of environmental stewards a fantastic service term!
Hannah Barg hails from the great lakes region of Illinois and got her degree in Environmental Science from Goshen College in 2016. While in college, Hannah traveled to Kenya, Cambodia, and England and also participated in the Sustainability Leadership Semester at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center. After graduating, Hannah worked as an environmental stewardship teaching fellow at Conserve School in Northern Wisconsin, a semester program designed for high school juniors. While there, she gained invaluable experience as a formal and non-formal educator, and developed a passion for environmental justice and advocacy. Coming from the land of many lakes, Hannah hopes to expand her public education and outreach skills as the Stormwater Education Specialist at Triangle J Council of Governments this service year. After AmeriCorps, Hannah has big plans to finally adopt a dog and pursue a career as an education and outreach coordinator at a non-profit.
Nicole Cook serves with the Balsam Mountain Trust in Sylva as their Environmental Outreach Coordinator. She is focused on delivering environmental education programs to Title I elementary schools in the area. Before joining CTNC AmeriCorps, she graduated from UNC Asheville with a B.S. in Environmental Studies. Nicole grew up in Woodstock, GA, and spent her summers volunteering at a sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation center where she developed a passion for environmental education and conservation. During college she was able to study abroad in Panama and South Africa and take hands-on field courses during which she developed a strong interest in ecology and wildlife biology. In her down-time Nicole enjoys hiking, canoeing, reading, and hanging out with her dog. Nicole is excited to share her love of nature, ecology, and conservation with the community in western North Carolina.
Emma Corbitt is the Community Outreach and Stewardship Coordinator for the Bald Head Island Conservancy (BHIC) in Wilmington. Prior to joining CTNC AmeriCorps, Emma attended Virginia Tech and completed a B.S. in Environmental Science. At Virginia Tech she organized outreach activities with local schools through her club, The Environmental Student Organization. This service term she is representing the BHIC at community events and conducting environmental education programs throughout Brunswick County as well as organizing volunteers. When she isn’t sharing her love of the environment with others through environmental education, Emma can be found running, sailing, or reading a book on the beach in her free time. She is excited to make a positive impact in the community during her service term and looks forward to all that the year will bring!
Audrey Dunn serves with Cape Fear River Watch in Wilmington as an Environmental Educator. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Tufts University in Boston and an M.Sc. in Forest and Nature Conservation from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Before joining AmeriCorps, she worked as a research assistant studying the behavior of wild lemurs in Madagascar and orangutans in Indonesia. Most recently she was studying the breeding habitat of meadow birds in northeast Poland. Finally she wanted to come home to the US and decided on coastal North Carolina as her destination! Her aim as an environmental educator and volunteer coordinator at CFRW is to increase the number of students who receive an education about environmental stewardship, expand CFRW’s reach up the river by creating educational programming at Lock and Dam 1, and extend the length of waterways cared for by organizing watershed cleanups. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, practicing yoga, swimming, and reading.
Dymond Generette is serving at Triangle Land Conservancy as the Walnut Hill Community Engagement Coordinator. Her main position duties include planning and developing innovative events, recruiting and managing volunteers for workdays, and developing new partnerships within Wake County. She recently graduated from NC State with her B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in Wildlife Sciences. She credits her deep appreciation for nature to her service trip to Costa Rica where she hiked in the Tapanti National Park with scenic views of the rainforest and the unique wildlife. Her hobbies include exploring downtown Raleigh-Durham, thrift shopping, and baking.
Abby Gostling is serving with Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) as an Environmental Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Economics and Global Studies, and was led to CTNC AmeriCorps by a passion for public service and a love for anything and everything outdoors. At KDB she is working to promote environmental stewardship in Durham by educating and coordinating volunteers in litter prevention, waste reduction, and community greening/beautification. After AmeriCorps she hopes to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration and work in local government. Outside of the office she can be found cooking, baking, or hiking with friends and family.
Brianna Haferman is serving as the Piedmont Legacy Trails Coordinator for the Piedmont Land Conservancy and Piedmont Triad Regional Council. Brianna is growing the regional initiative through the creation of rural partnerships, branding and storytelling projects, and organizing the annual Piedmont Legacy Trails Summit. In 2018 Brianna received her Master’s Degree in Social Work and interned at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. While serving in Horticultural Therapy Programs she discovered her love for connecting people to the joy and relief that comes from time spent outdoors. When not serving she can be found on the same trails she is working to promote, either strolling or biking. She also loves gardening, baking, thrifting, and camping. She plans to continue protecting, cultivating, and enjoying beautiful natural spaces throughout her lifetime.
Emma Jablonski is serving as an Environmental Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator with Keep Durham Beautiful. She is assisting the non-profit in creating beneficial partnerships, organizing significant events, and getting volunteers motivated and excited to make their community greener and cleaner! She is a recent Master of Public Administration graduate from Appalachian State University with concentrations in Non-Profit Management and Environmental Policy. As a student there, she completed several projects on recycling behavior change, worked as a farm apprentice, and conducted marine research with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission and Nature Coast Biological Station. She also has a BA in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Mississippi. She enjoys biking, plogging, and quality time with family and friends. Once her service is over, she looks forward to continuing to make an impact in the field of environmental education and sustainability.
Kelsey Kirwan is from Durham and graduated from Appalachian State University in Fall of 2017. She is serving at the Coastal Land Trust in Wilmington as the Environmental Education and Volunteer Coordinator. Since graduating, she has been exploring her career opportunities along with different landscapes. She worked three part-time jobs after graduating, all with a focus on outdoor/environmental education: Chapel Hill Parks and Rec, Piedmont Wildlife Center, and Frog Hollow Outdoors. Not ready to settle in Durham and looking for a change in scenery, she pursued an internship this past year in Arizona with the National Park Service at Chiricahua National Monument. She is looking forward to the opportunities that AmeriCorps has to offer and getting to know the Wilmington area.
Ashley Kreitz is serving in Hickory as Catawba Science Center’s first AmeriCorps member, where she is recruiting and coordinating volunteers, as well as updating the Environmental Education classes and exhibits to incorporate a conservation message. Prior to becoming an AmeriCorps member, she earned her B.S. in Earth & Environmental Science and has been teaching environmental education at Haw River State Park and Camp Thunderbird. After taking some time off to thru hike the Appalachian Trail, she’s excited to begin working with the community again, educating adults and children about sustainability and conservation.
Stephen Peters is serving at the Piedmont Triad Regional Council (PTRC) in Kernersville as an environmental educator with the Stormwater SMART program. Stephen grew up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in Kill Devil Hills. Living only 200 ft from the ocean he developed a love of the outdoors and the beauty of nature. Stephen attended Wake Forest University where he earned a B.A. in Biology and minor in Environmental Studies. During his time at WFU Stephen spent most of his time in Army ROTC and earned a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Reserves upon graduation from WFU. Stephen will assist in coordinating the Stormwater SMART program by providing environmental education on topics like water quality, pollution, and stormwater runoff. He will also help in facilitating community outreach events in the Piedmont Triad region. He is excited to help educate the next generation of environmental stewards!
Ivori Schley is serving as the Environmental Stewardship and Outreach Associate at the Highlands Cashiers Land Trust (HCLT) in Highlands. She is teaching after-school programs and educating the community about HCLT, maintaining trails, and managing/recruiting volunteers for workdays. Ivori is also actively controlling invasive species around Highlands and Cashiers by treating hemlocks affected by the hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA). Before AmeriCorps, Ivori utilized her B.S. degree in Urban and Community Horticulture to perform agricultural research across America and East Africa. She also worked diligently to ameliorate food apartheid issues for underserved youth in her community. Ivori hopes to strengthen her educational skills by completing the North Carolina Environmental Education certificate. CTNC AmeriCorps has granted Ivori the opportunity to gain exposure to natural settings while working for a land trust! After AmeriCorps, Ivori intends to continue non-profit work, improve food security across the world, and share her love for nature to all.
Elicia Senff is serving at Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) as the AmeriCorps Community Engagement and Education Coordinator. She is focused on creating educational programming for TLC’s partners and surrounding communities as well as increasing the number of citizen science opportunities. Previously, she earned a B.A in Geography from UNC Wilmington where she also worked as a Trip Lead for the Department of Campus Recreation. Leading these trips inspired her passion for environmental education and outdoor recreation. She was not only able to inspire an appreciation of the environment in others, but also saw the personal growth people experienced while in nature. After graduating, Elicia returned to Raleigh to pursue a G.I.S graduate certificate from NC State University. When not working, she can be found hiking, dancing, or snuggling with her pup.
Tamarya Sims is serving at Durham Public Schools Hub Farm for the next 10 months as an Educator and Program Assistant. Before AmeriCorps, Tamarya was working for the American Conservation Experience at Great Smoky Mountains National Park as an educator. She loves and is interested in gardening/farming, food justice, education, plant medicine, horticulture/agriculture, plant/bird identification, and photography. After AmeriCorps, Tamarya hopes to create her dream job by combining outdoor experiential learning, environmental/agricultural education, and food justice advocacy.
Ashlee Stradford graduated from UNC Asheville and is a former AmeriCorps Summer VISTA member. This service term, she is at Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham serving as a Community Educator. At the gardens she hopes to increase outreach in local schools and build onto the garden curriculum. She plans to continue her career in environmental education by attending graduate school and becoming a teacher.
Katie Sullivan serves at UNCW MarineQuest as a Coastal Citizen Science Ambassador. In this role Katie meets with community members and trains individuals to become Storm Surge Protectors. Storm Surge Protectors collect long-term data that will help determine the ecological condition of coastal wetlands in North Carolina. The project promotes an understanding of coastal wetlands through community engagement and direct assessment of wetland health throughout the year. By providing an opportunity for members to perform fieldwork, the project highlights the connections between a healthy ecosystem, storm resiliency, and community. Katie is thrilled to be studying the ocean that first inspired her love of marine science and learning from her new community. In addition to leading workshops and monitoring the field sites, Katie will also be organizing the data to allow for incorporation in larger research projects and curriculum development. In her free time, Katie can be found surfing, scuba diving, or eating too many tacos.
Laura Thompson is serving with The Conservation Fund at Good Hope Farm in Cary, North Carolina. She is responsible for community outreach and the development of projects promoting sustainable agriculture at her host site. Additionally, Laura organizes volunteers and expands educational programs to help connect the community with local agriculture and food! Before joining AmeriCorps, Laura was finishing her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Appalachian State University. Laura has always been interested in community nutrition and supporting local food systems, and she is excited to be part of the AmeriCorps team and have the opportunity to turn her passion into her future career!
To learn more about CTNC’s commitment to the AmeriCorps program, click here!