Sanctuary Internship Highlights: Libby Menders
Every year, the team at the Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary welcomes interns to assist with a variety of projects across the sanctuary.
For young professionals, internships are a great opportunity to explore and gain experience for future careers. At sanctuaries like Broad Meadow Brook and Wachusett Meadow, interns learn from seasoned professionals what it means to nurture and protect Massachusetts landscapes.
Libby Menders, a graduate student at Tufts University, started her internship at Mass Audubon in November 2021, where she worked as a Land Conservation Intern. In her role, she assisted the team in identifying, mapping, and researching undeveloped land in and around Broad Meadow Brook and Wachusett Meadow.
At the beginning of her internship, Libby worked on blazing trails and adjusting signage. Looking back on this experience, she said “I began to understand the immense upkeep that goes into maintaining a wildlife sanctuary and really enjoyed walking the trails and spotting wildlife along the way.”
As her internship progressed, Libby worked directly with Mass Audubon team members to determine what land around the sanctuaries needed urgent protection. By establishing where Mass Audubon needs to focus our conservation efforts, Libby helped us work towards the goal set in our Action Agenda to increase protected land in Massachusetts to 30%.
Throughout her internship, Libby found her passion. “I think I always had an interest in nature, but I didn’t really understand that one could have a career in conservation,” said Libby. “For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed exploring different conservation areas and trails in Massachusetts but never expected that I could be involved in protecting them.” After obtaining her master's degree in sustainability, Libby hopes to continue to work in land conservation.
Land conservation does not just impact people around today, but also the generations to come. Libby cherishes the time she spent in nature as a child and wants future kids to have that option as well, “I have always had a close connection with open space ever since I was a child, and I want others to grow up with the same experiences of exploring the outdoors.”
If you are interested in interning at the sanctuary, please email us.