Welcome our River Stewards of Tomorrow

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Six young adults have joined HVA as summer interns. The first four are working in HVA's Cornwall Bridge office with HVA's Water Protection Director Michael Jastremski assessing culverts, working on a Still River management plan and taking water quality samples in tributaries of the Housatonic River.

Wilkins Lugo of Lawrence Mass. is a Sorensen Fellow from Brandeis University, Class of 2017. He believes that HVA is a great organization to satisfy the Sorensen Fellow mission and his appetite for environmental knowledge. This summer he is working on a strategic outreach plan that targets the communities in the Still River Watershed area with Michael Jastremski, HVA Connecticut Water Protection Manager. He is excited for the upcoming weeks working with HVA.


Savannah Judge of Medfield, Mass. recently graduated from Colby College where she majored in Environmental Science and minored in Education. Her interest in the environment began as a young girl. Savannah is interested in pursuing a career related to watershed health, marine science, and/or education. She is also interested in science writing. Some of her favorite activities include hiking, knitting, and ice skating. She is excited to be working with HVA this summer and is looking forward to a great season!



Cole Baldino of Sandy Hook, Conn. is a senior at the State University of New York of Environmental Science and Forestry majoring in Environmental Science with a focus in Watershed Science & Management. He is an avid fisherman, mountaineer, and outdoorsman with a deep passion for rivers and mountains. Cole's goals are to become involved in dam removal across the United States and reconnect watersheds to their natural free-flowing form where ecosystems can thrive.


Jason Schwartz of Brookfield, Conn. will be entering his senior year at the University of Rhode Island in the fall majoring in Environmental Science and with a minor in Wildlife Conservation and Biology. He is has always loved being outdoors, As an Eagle Scout he learned a lot about the environment and the importance of keeping it clean and safe. Jason likes ultimate frisbee, basketball, tennis and snowboarding. He hasn't decided on his future but may want to be in watershed or forest management or work for the National Park Service.


Isaiah Cherkas of Worcester, Mass. is working in our South Lee office with HVA's Berkshire Director Dennis Regan assessing culverts, monitoring stream beds before culvert replacement and collecting data for a riverside trail report.

Isaiah is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst majoring in Natural Resource Conservation and minoring in Resource Economics. He is also an intern with Lodestar Energy which is involved in large-scale solar development. Last spring he analyzed policies about adaptations for storm surge impacts on infrastructure along the Massachusetts coast. Having been raised in cities gave him a stronger appreciation of what the natural environment has to offer. He would like to become an environmental consultant. Isaiah feels the most exciting part is collecting and analyzing scientific data to recommend what actions should be taken to solve a problem. He also enjoys fishing, running, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding and going to the beach.


Emma Okell from Sharon, Conn. is a senior at Gettysburg College.  She said she is very excited to be a volunteer intern at HVA working on the stewardship of 17 properties that HVA protects. She is also reviewing and organizing land record files and preparing for annual monitoring site visits. Emma plans to study environmental law in the future.



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