Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Introducing our Summer 2017 Interns!

Summer brings a lot of things (heat and humidity most notably) but around here, it signifies the start of many of our summer interns! With so many new faces, we thought we’d ask them a few questions and get to know them a little bit better.

First up is our Community Education Intern, Rachel Harmston! A Minnesota raised nature lover, Rachel has spent the last few years traveling the world and branching out of her comfort zone.

Casey Trees: What drew you to Casey Trees?
Rachel Harmston: I moved to D.C. to be in the heart of the push for climate and environmental rights. Casey Trees appeared on my radar as I was out exploring my new Brookland neighborhood and noticed Casey Trees watering bags and tree tags. I did my research and loved Casey’s mission. The rest is history.

Next up, our very our own Digital Production Intern Trent Burns. After a brief International Relations stint, he switched to Public Relations – which overlaps frequently with video and graphics work.

Casey Trees: We’re predictable – favorite tree?
Trent Burns: Maple! We have a bunch in the yard at the house I grew up in, and my guitar’s neck is a solid, beautifully aged piece of maple.

Our Design & Advocacy Intern, Abby Holcombe is a recent College of William & Mary graduate, that, despite her allergies to almost all regional trees, has long been a lover of all thing green.

Casey Trees: How did you get interested in the design/advocacy field?
Abby Holcombe: Ever since being on the Green Team in middle school, I’ve found myself acting as an advocate for environmentalism. Throughout college when I wasn’t bogged down with schoolwork, I worked in media design, so advocating for environmental issues and a creative design is just the marriage I was looking for.


Last but not least, our Urban Forestry Crew! They’ll travel all around the District surveying trees as a part of our Technical Services and Research Team.

Looking to spend her summer with an organization with ties to public health and environmentalism, Lauren Mitchell found her perfect fit with us.

Casey Trees: What inspires you?
Lauren Mitchell: Children. They’re so happy (most of them), and their innocence and excitement towards the world reminds me that you can be happy, if you want to be.

Between a background in forestry and a love for riding bikes (the crew often inventories trees by bike!), Tony Mazza couldn’t think of reason not to apply to the internship.

Casey Trees: How did you get interested in the urban forestry/research field?
Tony Mazza: Actually, I studied and worked as a forester for a couple years, and my path has brought me to my first urban living situation. Urban forestry was the combined result.

Connectivity, creativity, and joy are daily mottos for Mattie Wong, and you can usually find her sitting on my front porch in Petworth.

Casey Trees: We’re predictable – favorite tree?
Mattie Wong: The Ulmo.  This tree is found in Chile and Argentina, and honey from the tree is some of the best you’ll ever have. It can grow very big, and in the early summer, when it is completely in bloom, you will probably smell the flowers and hear the buzzing of the bees before you actually notice the tree itself.

A first timer in D.C., Phoebe Masterson-Eckart is a San Francisco native that attends Connecticut College – studying botany and math.

Casey Trees: What drew you to Casey Trees?
Phoebe Masterson-Eckart: Being from the heart of San Francisco, I’m really passionate about city greenspaces and community engagement in environmental action. Casey Trees seemed like the perfect place to blend my love for city greening with practical tree research and learn about potential career options.

Before heading to Rutgers University for a Masters’ Degree in Urban Planning, Andrew Wainwright decided to spend the summer learning more about green infrastructure and forestry.

Casey Trees: How did you get interested in the urban forestry/ research field?
Andrew Wainwright: My studies in environmental sustainability introduced to urban forestry, and showed me to the importance of trees. I’m interested in using trees in stormwater management and hope to learn which trees are best suited for D.C.’s climate and can be used for green infrastructure projects.

And finally, Sean Reynolds spent some time measuring trees in the El Yuque Rainforest in Puerto Rico and has since moved from the jungle to the concrete jungle to continue his passion for tree research:

Casey Trees: If you were a sandwich what kind would you be?
Sean Reynolds: Probably a corned beef with Swiss cheese, on rye. Because I’m corny, cheesy, and a little wry.

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