Published on August 21, 2019

Meet Summer's Hardest Workers

Get to know two of the people who've made a real impact at Stony Brook this summer—intern Hannah Greene and volunteer Erich Wilmot!

Hannah Greene (Summer Intern)

Summer 2019 Stony Brook intern Hannah Greene

Stony Brook welcomes one or two interns each summer, usually students from a local college who are majoring in one of the natural sciences. Hannah's been a great addition this year, bringing enthusiasm and intelligence to everything she does!

What's your background?

I'm a rising senior at Wheaton College, majoring in Environmental Science with a concentration in Biology. I'm also minoring in Public Health and Public Policy Studies.

How did you become interested in natural sciences?

It stemmed from a love of being outdoors—my hobbies include hiking and kayaking—and growing up in beautiful Belfast, Maine. It's a community that values and promotes environmentalism and ecotourism.

Coolest nature experience?

Traveling to Iceland to study the moraines of receding glaciers, particularly the soil composition and plant species/succession. Being able to hike on the glaciers and see firsthand the effects of climate change was enlightening!

Why have you enjoyed working at Stony Brook?

I've enjoyed the wide diversity of habitats and life that the sanctuary has to offer, and the wildlife itself. The people who work or volunteer here provide endless amounts of knowledge and wisdom!

What have you learned?

I've helped collect data on (and observe) the Purple Martin colony, helped monitor salamanders in a coverboard survey, and conducted several odonate surveys—all without any previous knowledge in these areas. I also furthered my knowledge of breeding birds and the effects of herbicides upon the wetlands. It's reaffirmed that I truly love environmental monitoring, collecting data, and working in the field!

What are your future plans?

After I get my Master's, ideally I'd love to find a job in the environmental health sciences. The intersection of environmental conditions with the health of wildlife and humans is fascinating to me!

Erich Wilmot (Volunteer)

Volunteer Erich Wilmot works to clear blockage on the first spillway

Beginning late last summer and extending through the winter and spring into this summer, no one has worked harder and has been so willing to learn as Erich. We love his enthusiasm and are thankful he chose Stony Brook for his first volunteer experience!

What's your background?

I'm from Walpole, and I'm going into my junior year at the University of Maine at Orono, where I major in Wildlife Ecology. I always enjoyed nature as a kid—I had books on animals and loved looking for them in real life. 

Coolest nature experience?

Kayaking in New Hampshire—I saw a Bald Eagle dive to catch a fish just 25 feet away!

What do you enjoy about volunteering at Stony Brook?

It’s the people. I always enjoys talking to them, learning from them. I love the feeling of fulfillment I get after doing my work. Also, I never knew I could enjoy getting sweaty and doing hard work for no pay, but I do here!

What have you learned?

So many things! Clearing spillways of blockages, assisting with coverboard research, working on our Tree Canopy Survey, cleaning up the Nature Play Area, repairing the nesting birds boxes, learning how to identify local plants and wildlife, learning how to conduct research, discovering the best way to prune a tree, and doing general trail maintenance.