Each year at Maine TREE’s Holt Research Forest in Arrowsic, college interns from around the globe get the opportunity to spend their summer in the forest collecting data for a catalog of over 35 years of continuous monitoring.
Despite these extraordinary times, Maine TREE and Holt Research Forest hosted another group of interns in 2020. This year, all four of the interns are students at the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources.
These summer interns have gained valuable experience in forest data collection, completing a full timber inventory of over 30,000 individual trees. YES, they measured every tree! Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 intern cohort.
Jasmine Gregory is from Winslow Maine, where she lives with her two sons. She is studying Forest Ecology at the University of Maine in Orono as a Non-traditional and commuter student. Through this internship, she is expanding her participation in the Maine woods. Her growing interests are in systems ecology, wetlands, fungi, and biophysical economics. Jasmine is also working toward a Minor in Soil Science and intends to pursue professional licensing as a Soil Scientist.
Jasmine is grateful to work under the guidance of Jack Witham, appreciating his long history at the Holt Research Forest. This preparatory work will develop her confidence in Timber Inventory while fostering her love for the forest space.
After her Undergraduate program is complete, Jasmine aspires to succeed as a Graduate student. Her studies, as well as her career, will continue in Ecology and Soils. As an interdisciplinary individual, Jasmine will seek opportunities without self-limitation, working, and living amongst Maine’s treasured natural resources.
Nathaniel Harris, of Fanwood, New Jersey, is pursuing a bachelors degree in Ecology and Environmental Science at the University of Maine. With his studies, he wants to conduct research and to spread awareness of forest and environmental conservation in an accessible way for the general public.
To further his goals, he applied to be a student research assistant at the Holt Research Forest for the Summer of 2020. He was excited by this hands-on work, providing essential information on local Maine ecology for broad research purposes. This opportunity would allow Nathaniel to further his knowledge of how research is conducted, through the collection of timber inventory data.
In the future, Nathaniel aims to further his education and enter a career in ecological research. On a personal level, he wants to spread best practices that individuals should adopt when engaging with their surrounding environment and promoting sustainable regulations and practices.
Emily Roth is a rising fourth-year student of forestry and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Maine in Orono. Emily was born and raised in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. She came to Maine to study the state’s vast and culturally essential forests. In past summers, she has been employed as a forest inventory technician at Howland Forest and a field technician collecting soil samples in Maine’s North Woods. Additionally, Emily spent two semesters as a teaching assistant for the School of Forest Resources’ plant identification course.
At Holt Research Forest, Emily works as a botanical technician, surveying the forest’s hundreds of plant species. Not having spent much time in midcoast Maine, Holt Research Forest’s forty hectares (99-acres) of oak-pine forests diversified by glacial activity provides Emily with ample space to learn the plant species and ecology of the area.
In her free time, Emily enjoys hiking, botanizing, bicycling, reading, and exploring Arrowsic. Holt Research Forest’s proximity to Sewall Pond, coastal state parks, and nearby towns allows for well-spent summer weekends. In the future, Emily plans to continue facilitating her passion for the forest as a professional or continued education. The most invigorating and enlightening part of studying the forest for Emily is the opportunity to teach students. She says, “I came to Maine for the forests and stayed for the people.”
Over 100 individuals have had the opportunity to spend their summer at the Holt Research Forest in Arrowsic, gaining fantastic experience as Research Technician Interns. Over the 35-plus years, many interns developed into leaders in Maine’s Forest community.
The Holt Research Forest Interns of 2020 may have had an experience unlike any other due to the coronavirus. Despite this, they were still able to accomplish most tasks thanks to the safety of an outdoor work environment.
We at Maine TREE encourage all students, teachers, and families to engage in outdoor learning. The Holt Research Forest and Maine’s forest community benefit when students are allowed to immerse themselves in the outdoors as a classroom.
We are always delighted to host a diverse group of interns who will leave carrying with them the knowledge gained from a summer contributing to long-term forest research. Maine TREE and Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund contributed equally to fund four internship positions in 2020.