This summer, we're welcoming our largest ever group of interns to the Natural Capital Center. Through their work, they'll be exploring an array of fascinating subjects, from mapping marine areas to studying jobs and equity in the urban forest.
Knowledge Systems Intern
Natasha is joining us from Williams College where she is a rising junior majoring in Math and Environmental Studies and pursuing an interest in forestry. At Ecotrust, she’s helping build tree inventory maps of the urban forest in Clackamas County using data collected by LiDaR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology — a geospatial imaging tool that creates a 3-D view of everything from the ground up.
The urban forest is full of benefits that are more commonly associated with rural forests. Like their rural kin, urban trees provide shade, clean water, clean air — and possibly revenue from harvesting as well. With an inventory in place, we’ll be able to start painting a vivid picture of the potential economic value of the urban forest in Clackamas County.
Redd Project Research Intern
A junior at Reed College here in Portland, Emily is focused on supporting our development of the Redd on Salmon Street. Her work includes researching the history of the Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID), where the Redd is located, to deepen our understanding of that neighborhood and its roots. A neighborhood transitioning from industrial to mixed-use, the CEID is experiencing rapid growth with more than 17,000 people employed by 1,200 businesses.
Part of the mission of the Redd is to provide healthy, delicious, and responsibly raised and harvested food for all by offering essential infrastructure that will help regenerate a vibrant regional food system. We want to make sure the regenerative potential of the Redd is enjoyed by our neighbors too.
Joining us for the summer from UC Santa Barbara, Andrew is midway through his graduate program in Environmental Science and Management. At Ecotrust, he is focused on helping us assess equitable access to jobs in the urban forest.
Urban environments are becoming increasingly important — both in the ecosystem services and the economic opportunities they provide. As more and more people move into cities, it’s important that access to these services and opportunities be equitable. Over the next year, our Knowledge Systems team will be working with partners at Verde and Policy Link to identify both opportunities and barriers for low-income and communities of color in the green jobs sector — specifically in urban forest and landscape management.
Forestry and Ecosystem Services Intern
Currently pursuing his Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale School of Forestry, Luke is working to compare carbon storage and wood production potential of forestland managed to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards with commonly used industrial management practices.
At Ecotrust, we believe forests should be managed for all of the benefits they provide — from providing forest products, to habitat, clean water, and jobs. As the most rigorous third party standard for ecological forest management, forests under FSC management are more responsive to the values of a triple bottom line natural economy.
Ellie is a math and history major at Williams College interested in using her studies in the environmental field. At Ecotrust, she’s mapping spatial data for several tribes in Northern California, focusing on where specific coastal resources have been harvested.
As their cornerstone of culture and subsistence, extensive knowledge of coastal and ocean environments by tribes has helped create marine protected areas for critical habitat. Now, however, more needs to be done to make sure tribes can access the resources they depend on. Since our founding, Ecotrust has used mapping technology to illustrate the impact of landscape decisions on wellbeing of tribal and first nations.