2012 Fellows and Interns
New England Wild Flower Society offers opportunities for hands-on positions in conservation, horticulture, and nursery for fellows and interns.
Mary Lee Everett Conservation Fellow
A native of Washington, D.C., Annie grew up frequenting nearby Rock Creek Park and acquiring a love of nature. Whenever possible, Annie spent her summers in Maine, digging clams and foraging for edible wild mushrooms. She graduated in May from Mount Holyoke College, where her interests in ecology and evolution led her to pursue a B.A. in biological sciences.
While in school, Annie became involved in the student organization Food Justice Society and spent her junior year managing Mount Holyoke’s organic vegetable garden. Last summer, she interned at the University of Bonn, Germany, where she conducted research on wolf spiders. Annie now thinks that, while spiders are cool, plants are cooler. She became interested in invasive species ecology in the spring of her junior year, and wrote her senior thesis on paradigm differences surrounding the field of invasion biology. She plans to pursue a career in land management and conservation.
Annie is excited to join the team at New England Wild Flower Society, and hopes to improve her identification skills of New England’s native plants. Her other interests include cooking, eating, going for walks, and traveling.
Horticulture Intern – Plants Records
Evan is a self-proclaimed plant-addict. Born and raised near the tiny town of Toutle, Washington, some of his earliest memories are of helping his parents in the garden, exploring the woods at home, and hiking the abundant national parks in the state. Mt. St. Helens was his backyard, but his favorite places to visit are Olympic National Park, home of one of the last remaining temperate rainforests in the world, the alpine meadows of Indian Heaven Wilderness, and Rainier National Park. Growing up among such natural splendor lead to a life-long passion for plants of all kinds, despite attempts by deer to dissuade him. The relentless ungulates forced Evan to turn his efforts towards indoor plants, opening the world of tropical species to him while he continued to explore native plants and non-invasive exotic species.
In high school, Evan was a member and officer of the Hiking Club and Ecology Club. The Hiking Club goes on numerous outdoor events each year, the largest of which is a seven to ten day backpacking trip along a section of the Pacific Crest Trail. The Ecology Club, among other things, volunteers at Seaquest State Park to help remove English ivy and other invasive species. The Ecology Club gave Evan an appreciation for native plants and protecting their habitats from invasive species.
Evan graduated in May, 2012 from Washington State University with a B.S. in Environmental Horticulture. While attending the university, he managed the Horticulture Department’s teaching conservatory, using his knowledge of tropical plants to rehabilitate and improve the neglected collection. He also inventoried the collection to print new display labels, giving him the idea of pursuing a career as a curator at a botanic garden. Following that decision, he interned with Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C., inventorying part of the nearly 10,000 plants in their orchid collection and updating their nomenclature. While Evan is a hopeless nut for all kinds of plants, orchids hold a prominent place in his interests, including the many fascinating (if sometimes less showy) native orchids of North America.
Eager to return to a more naturalistic and conservation-oriented mind-set, Evan is extremely excited to intern at Garden in the Woods. Coming from the opposite side of the country, he is looking forward to something new in studying the unique flora of New England.
When not at Garden in the Woods, Evan can be found researching plants of all kinds for his own knowledge, tending his indoor plants (which took up a significant portion of his suitcases), reading, or exploring the unfamiliar beauty of New England.
Chester B. Allen, Jr., Horticulture Fellow
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he has spent the past few years leading a semi-nomadic lifestyle. After graduating from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a degree in Conservation and Resource Management he headed to Juneau, Alaska, to conduct botanical field research for the U.S. Forest Service in support of a larger study on Sitka black-tail deer habitat. Following that he took a job with The Nature Conservancy near Fargo, North Dakota, doing preserve management and prairie restoration work.
His first exposure to horticultural work came during college as a horticultural intern at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary in Minneapolis, where he was exposed to the wonderful world of plants. Having explored these three very different plant related career paths in the past few years, he has found that his greatest interest is in public gardens.
He is excited to have the opportunity to gain more valuable experience and practical knowledge this summer. When not at Garden in the Woods, you’re likely to find him riding around on his bike, sitting at a coffee shop with a book and multiple cups of coffee, or exploring New England.
Nursery Intern at Nasami Farm
Alexis is a recent graduate of the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch University New England with a concentration in Conservation Biology. She lives and gardens in southern Vermont with her husband and their dog and cat.
She became interested in plant conservation after working as a professional organic gardener for several years and more recently in ecological restoration with Safe Harbor Environmental Services in Wellfleet, MA. Armed with a BFA in photography, she has worked in several arts organizations and has taught workshops and after school classes.
Her combined skill set contributes to her professional and personal goal, which is to serve the processes that contribute to a balanced ecosystem, both in the scientific and social disciplines. Other interests she is passionate about are sustainable agriculture, soil science, food security, yoga, music, and running.
Lovejoy Conservation Fellow
A local native of Franklin, Massachusetts, Jessica Foley has always had a deep-rooted connection with nature. From spending childhood days in the woods, hiking New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and frequenting the salt marshes of lower Cape Cod, her fond love of plants and ecological communities flourished. Upon enrolling at the University of Rhode Island, Jess volunteered at the EPA as an undergraduate research assistant for a semester
and considers her time there to be the foundation onto which many opportunities arose.
She soon headed to the Cape Cod National Seashore as the Aquatic Ecology intern for a summer, allotting her time to salt marsh and kettle pond ecosystem monitoring and conservation as well as obtaining her first exposure to vegetative field surveys. As an alternative spring break the following year, Jess volunteered on a short expedition with the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve to assist with removal of invasive autumn olive species on Prudence Island. For Jess, this experience has inspired great interest and concern towards the importance of invasive species control and native plant management.
Eager to explore other natural systems and utilize her double major in Spanish, Jess studied abroad at the University of Puerto Rico and spent a large part of her senior year working on an independent research project examining mangrove tree and leaf structure, and soil and nutrient analysis within a mangrove forest in Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico.
Jess received a BS in Environmental Science & Management and a BA in Spanish from the University of Rhode Island in 2011. In the fall of 2012, she plans to enter graduate school where she would like to focus on the ecological relationships between vegetation, soil, and biogeochemistry in order to expand her understanding of native plants and ecosystem restoration.
From founding the URI Club Field Hockey team in college and playing in various adult field hockey leagues in Massachusetts, Jess is always looking for an excuse to remain active and play outdoors. This summer she enthusiastically looks forward to expanding her knowledge of rare plants and exploring plant conservation initiatives in New England.
Herbert J. and Esther M. Atkinson Fellow
Molly is an avid all around plantswoman. Born in England’s “garden county” of Kent, and raised in New York’s Hudson Valley, she has been inspired by and exposed to some of the best known gardens in the world.
After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Ecology at Bates College in Maine, Molly dabbled in farming, greenroofing, and continued to expand her passion for gardening. Motivated by her experience as a vegetation surveyor with the Natural Resources Group in New York City, she returned to England in 2010 to pursue a Masters of Science. As part of the University of Reading’s “Taxonomy and Conservation of Plant Diversity” program, she studied once a week at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, learning from its scientists and specialists and exploring its boundless herbaria and grounds.
Molly returned to New York to work on her dissertation, which was completed with the help of her previous employer- the Greenbelt Native Plant Center. As part of Greenbelt’s Native Plant Conservation Initiative, Molly surveyed three species imperiled within New York City and made management recommendations for their restoration.
The heart of Molly’s interest lies in the union between informative research on rare and endangered plants and the hands-on active restoration and outreach that is so crucial to their survival. She is a keen writer and is currently the horticultural editor for the Brooklyn-based gardening magazine Wilder Quarterly. One day she hopes to publish her book about the seasons, plant life, and natural phenomena of the Hudson Valley.
Native Plant Intern
Steve lives in Woonsocket, Rhode Island with his fiancé of 10 years and is a non-traditional age college student, graduating from the University of Rhode Island with his bachelor’s in Communications and minor in Sustainability. While back in school, he has also been acting as the Garden Coordinator for the GROWUP Community Garden in Woonsocket, a 50 bed garden.
He is a board member for the Rhode Island Sierra Club, actively helping to promote environmental conservation and social justice, sustainable mass transit, and the green economy. He hopes to learn more about native plants in order to better understand how the human environment affects them, as well as ways to use native plants within urban agriculture and gardening (such as the use of native plants for non-source point pollution projects such as residential and urban rain garden installations).
He is also completing the Rhode Island Master Gardeners’ program at the URI Cooperative Extension and is earning his volunteer hours by working in a high-volume organic vegetable greenhouse at the university one day a week.