Hurricane Sandy Youth Story Corps: Charlotte Murtishaw
With nothing but a bike, a duffel bag, and a box of food, Charlotte Murtishaw arrived in early June at her new home in Western Massachusetts.
As a Summer 2014 Student Conservation Association (SCA) intern, she would spend the next three months providing communications and outreach support for a range of environmental projects and on-site fieldwork for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northeast Region.
Murtishaw is a rising senior at Barnard College in NYC majoring in American Studies with a concentration in landscape and environmental history.
Among her many responsibilities for the SCA, she served as a communication specialist for the Service’s Hurricane Sandy recovery effort. Part of the job meant traveling to states impacted by the storm, such as New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts.
“Being able to travel to different sites where important Hurricane Sandy resilience work was happening taught me something new about conservation and its importance in our world today,” she said.
Murtishaw’s travels resulted in a blog post about her visit to a Hurricane Sandy tidal marsh birds resilience project in Stonington, Conn., this past summer. She also wrote a feature on a habitat resilience project at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine.
From city life to rural Massachusetts, Murtishaw especially appreciated the hands-on aspect of the job.
“I got a glimpse at a lot of the on-the-ground fieldwork that is a far cry from anything I get to witness in my formal education,” she said. “I loved being able to engage in the actual science.”.
During the course of her internship, Murtishaw was able to work with a variety of biologists, refuge managers and other Hurricane Sandy project partners.
As someone who thought she might want to do post-college work in the environmental field, Charlotte says she is now convinced.
“My work with the SCA this summer was an incredible pathway to discovering what I find personally fulfilling and how I can engage my skill sets in a helpful manner,” Murtishaw said. “It was hands down the best job I’ve ever had.”
Check out these photos by Charlotte from her trip to Cape May National Wildlife Refuge for Hurricane Sandy surface elevation table equipment installation this summer.◊
SCA interns Brittany Bowker and Charlotte Murtishaw are both part of the Service’s Hurricane Sandy youth story corps, which provides communications experience to college interns as a part of our agency’s commitment to engaging youth in conservation.