Stanback Fellowship at National Wildlife Refuge Association

Stanback Fellowship at National Wildlife Refuge Association

(quiet piano music) – I’m Bhargavi Karumuri and
I’m studying Ecosystem Science and Conservation at the
Nicholas School of Environment. I’m actually interning at the National Wildlife
Refuge Association which is a national
nonprofit that works directly with U.S. Fish and Wildlife to manage our nation’s wildlife refuges. And I’m Urban Refuge Program Intern. So the Urban Refuge Program
is a program in which the Refuge Association
works with urban refuges which are refuges that
are closer to urban areas. My day usually starts at nine until five. And sometimes we have a podcast scheduled as a part of our campaign. So I help out with writing
the questions for that and sitting in kind of prompting
the interview a little bit. – [Radio host] Bhargavi, thanks so much for co-hosting this show today. Do you mind introducing
today’s guest for us? – [Bhargavi] Loretta Pineda
is the Executive Director of an organization called
Environmental Learning for Kids. It’s located in the Denver Metro area. ELK works with under represented
youth ages five to 25 to provide educational
programming and opportunity for self growth through
connecting with nature. I think the thing that
drew me to this internship was that it’s working
with urban populations, urban communities who
when you think about that, you don’t think about them interacting with nature that much. And then their interaction
with community refuges that are in their own backyards. I would say the Nicholas
School really prepares me to do this because,
especially my certificate in Community Based
Environmental Management, it kind of teaches you skills
to work with communities on more hands on. And it’s been really interesting
to see how those skills kind of translate when
you’re in a larger scale working with many different refuges. My direct supervisor is Joy Blackwood and she’s the Director
of the Urban Program. – It’s a valuable benefit for any NGO to have this partnership. The interns and the students that come from the Nicholas School,
they already know our issue. These kids, these young
adults, they’re not kids, they’re young adults. They’re our future. They are valuable and they
bring a valuable asset and knowledge that is priceless. – I’d say a big challenge
is that our wildlife refuges have always catered to
people who are kind of already interested in wildlife,
already know all about all of the birds that are there. And you work with kind of urban spaces. You’re working with all kinds
of different people in terms of knowledge and experience outside. And even how they experience outside. It doesn’t always have to be like doing this really long backpacking trip. It could also be as simple
as eating your lunch outside in a park. It’s been pretty cool. It’s really interesting to gain all these like different skillsets. And I think it’s gonna be like
very useful for my future.

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