Friday, June 17, 2011
Born and raised in Middletown, New York, Ellie has lived in New York all her life; however, she’s been lucky enough to do some traveling all over the world. From New Zealand to Europe to across the U.S., Ellie has been aware of and interested in the natural world around her, which lead her to taking certain courses at RIT and choosing her major. GIS mapping and remote sensing are two fields involving her background that Ellie feels will be used to survey invasive species in the future. She explained that certain plants radiate a unique infared signature which can distinguish them from other plants. Using this technology, huge areas could be surveyed accurately, showing where invasive species have the greatest density.
For her degree, Ellie is required to complete a ten-week co-op (or internship). Being an avid camper, photographer, and outdoor enthusiast, she typed “state parks” and “photography” into a search to get some ideas. Her search resulted in Vermont State Parks Photography Interns. It was a great match.
Ellie wanted to find something that would combine her interests and skills. Specifically, she is passionate about conserving biodiversity in forests. By helping to eradicate invasive species, she will move closer to this goal. Even better, she loves to camp. Since the job involves living in Vermont State Parks, she was excited to have the opportunity to stay in different state and national parks. She’ll start her tour in Lake St. Catherine State Park before heading out to other state parks as well as Green Mountain National Forest campsites. Ellie hopes that her experience this summer will help give her a foundation with the forest service.
Her internship will be with State Lands Forester, Jeff Briggs, who is heading up a program to catalog and eradicate invasive plant species in Vermont’s national and state lands. Some of the plants she will target this summer include honeysuckle, buckthorn, goutweed, barberry, and other well known invasives.
Ellie will chronicle her internship with weekly blogs and regular updates, and of course, lots of photos. When asked about her pursuit, Ellie described all that goes into a day of taking pictures. She carries with her a camera and four different lenses, a wide angle lens, a telephoto lens, a macro lens, and a portrait lens. She can’t wait to start capturing life in the parks.
Ellie wants her work go beyond academia and internal uses saying that it is important for the public to know about invasive species. Her work this summer is a big job, and we are very appreciative to have such an enthusiastic and skillful intern to do it! Welcome Ellie!