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Meet the 2023 Dr. Marc Taylor Interns

This 2023 season, Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition hired two Dr. Marc Taylor Interns to pair up on tackling field projects.

Pictured on the (left) side of the photo is Charlotte Zapletal of New Milford, Connecticut. She is a rising junior studying Earth and Environmental Sciences at Wesleyan University and is interested in pursuing a career in environmental science.

She gained valuable experience interning at both Steep Rock Association’s Judea Garden, and the Northwest CT Land Conservancy. In addition, she has gained experience through her volunteer work for community and education-based organizations that prioritize environmental science and conservation, such as the Pratt Nature Center and White Memorial Conservation Center.

Last fall, Charlotte studied climate and precipitation data in relation to river flow and discharge data, and would like to continue that field work on a deeper level with PRWC.

On the (right) side is PRWC intern, Olivia DiPalermo, of Lagrangeville, New York. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Binghamton University with a major in history and a double minor in environmental studies and environmental resource management, Olivia advanced into a graduate program through the University of Connecticut where she will be graduating with her Masters of Energy and Environmental Management in December of this year.

This past summer, Olivia completed a 450-hour AmeriCorps term through the NY-NJ Trail Conference, in which she gained ecological field experience as well as knowledge of trail building, planning, and stewardship. Through her studies, Olivia has gained extensive knowledge of planning/zoning and resource management, as well as experience in environmental science data collection and analysis.

The two will be working on completing stream crossing assessments for the town of Southbury following the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative protocol. The goal of the assessments is to examine the integrity of the structures such as bridges and culverts for aquatic life passage from one side of a stream to the other. This tool can be used by towns and state agencies to prioritize repair or replacements of poor and failing stream crossings under roads.

The interns will also play a role in planning and executing a buffer maintenance project along Lake Stibbs in Southbury. The buffer complements an invasive species control project to continually assist Lake Stibbs protection of rivers downstream.

Throughout the season, the interns will have the opportunity to lead clean ups, assist in education programs, and participate in stream sampling.


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