CES Summer Internship and Grant Program Summer 2016

Natasha Baranow ’18 – Ecotrust & Urban Forestry

This internship was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

I had the pleasure of working with Ecotrust for ten weeks this past summer in Portland, Oregon. Although I contributed towards several assignments, my primary project was working with the Knowledge Systems team on the Clackamas County Urban Forest Inventory. Through LiDAR analysis, our goal was to collect specific tree attributes (such as tree height and biomass) in order to help develop an economic development initiative that supports the planting, growth, marketing, and harvesting of the county’s trees. Clackamas is implementing an experimental project to see if the emergence of this new type of market is feasible. If it is successful, we may see new urban lumber initiatives across Oregon and the rest of the United States. Thank you very much to the generous donors who made this internship possible and to the wonderful staff at Ecotrust.

Caroline Beckmann ’17 – United Nations World Food Programme

This internship was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

Last summer I was lucky enough to intern with the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome, Italy.  Pursuing my interest in world food security and sustainability, I sought out any position I could find within the organization, which is focused on the zero hunger initiative.  At WFP, I worked in the Gender Department, focused on women’s equality around the world; specifically, the importance of women in the fight to end world hunger.  Thank you, Williams College Center for Environmental Studies and the Ohly family for making this incredible experience possible.

Brett Bidstrup ’17 – Stance Capital

This internship was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

Last summer I worked at Stance Capital in Boston, MA. It is a startup company that does asset management with the intent of allowing  clients to choose investment portfolios that reflect their belief systems. The main product I worked around this summer was related to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. I learned about starting up a company and many details that go into the preparation, as well as gaining financial literacy in ESG and values-based investment that will be helpful in preparing me for my next steps into a future career. I would like to thank my donors, Ms. Nicholas Ohly and Mr. Frederick Ohly, as well as the entire CES Grant program, for their generosity in making this summer a possibility for me.

 Angela Chan ’19 – The Sixth Migration & The Marvels of Modernization

The Effects of Agricultural Policy on Miao Farmers in Guizhou, China, Research

This research was support by the Miranda Heller 1978 and Jerry Tone 1977 Environmental Studies Fund.

I conducted independent research on the effects of agricultural policy on Miao farmers in Guizhou, China. I studied the history of agricultural policy from the Communist Revolution onwards, then did fieldwork in Qiandongnan, Guizhou via interviews and site visits to understand the relationships amongst upper government, lower government, and villagers. I explored attitudes towards the environment, how the current generation of migrant workers is changing the structure of their native villages, and the commercialization of ethnicity that parallels rural modernization. I would like to thank the CES, my sponsors, and grant donors for this unforgettable summer.

Erica Chang ’18Effects of fluctuating versus mean temperatures on gene expression in the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis L.

This research was supported by the W. Conant Brewer Internships Fund.

Under Mike Nishizaki at Williams-Mystic we examined the effect that fluctuating versus stable temperatures have on blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) in the rocky intertidal zone. Within temperature studies, we investigated respiration rates in aerial and submerged conditions, feeding and assimilation rates, growth rates, and gene expression in the lab as well as biotic and abiotic conditions in the field (seston fluctuations, dissolved oxygen, temperature, etc.). I focused on gene expression, examining four genes—hsp70, β-actin, APC7, and NADH—as they are affected by temperature. Our results hold implications for climate change as temperatures, especially more extreme temperatures, will drastically change marine ecosystems, particularly highly variable ones such as the rocky intertidal. I would like to thank Mr. William Brewer for helping fund my research position and the Center for Environmental Studies for its support.

Chris Chorzepa ’17ConnPIRG

This internship was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

I worked for ConnPIRG to promote a 21st century transportation infrastructure. There, I opposed the state’s plan to widen I-95 by a lane, which would just induce demand for more cars on the road and pollute our earth more, as well as not solving the problem of congestion that it is supposed to. I did this by recruiting a coalition of community leaders made up of both elected officials and community-based organizations that shows its strong disapproval of this project, and collaborating with them to lobby the state against the project and in favor of public transit. Thanks CES!

Sarah Cooperman ’17 –Thesis research on the Environment and Christianity

This research was supported by the Mellon Fund.

I spent the summer doing thesis research on the intersection between environmentalism and fundamentalist Christianity in America after 1960. In particular, I focused on how public intellectuals were framing environmentalism and human relationships to the earth while trying to better understand how prominent members of “The Ecology Movement” were tapping into traditions of apocalyptic Christian rhetoric. My first chapter is a case study of the discourse surrounding overpopulation, with figures like Paul Ehrlich, Barry Commoner, and Francis Schaeffer lending important (and highly contrasting) voices to the debate. I am so excited to see where this project takes me!

Phacelia Cramer ’19 – 350 Eugene

This internship was support by the Miranda Heller 1978 and Jerry Tone 1977 Environmental Studies Fund.

My summer internship with 350 Eugene focused on two projects: creating a middle and high school student network to expand youth involvement in 350 Eugene’s campaigns and working on the Stop the Oil Trains campaign. I organized and ran a week-long climate art camp for 16  middle school students and I was a mentor at a direct action camp for high school students with organizers from all over the country.  I worked with 350 Eugene and other community groups to bring an environmental justice approach to the Oil Trains campaign. Huge thanks to Miranda Heller ’78 and Jerry Tone ’77 for making this experience possible.

Mary Beth Dato ’17 – Mohawk Forest

This internship was support by the Miranda Heller 1978 and Jerry Tone 1977 Environmental Studies Fund.

Last summer I worked for nine weeks at Mohawk Forest, an affordable housing community in North Adams.  I worked as an Environmental Engagement intern, helping to lead a group of school-age children in day camp activities while also teaching them about the environment.  Through art projects, science experiments, field trips to local sites around the Berkshires, and cooking projects, the children received a brief overview on the importance of using local ingredients and recycling, marine pollution, and their local ecosystem.  Thank you to Ms. Miranda Heller and Mr. Jeremy Tone for allowing me to pursue this opportunity.

Michael Ding ’18 – Williams College Economics Department

This research was support by the Miranda Heller 1978 and Jerry Tone 1977 Environmental Studies Fund.

Last summer I worked as a research assistant for Professor Matthew Gibson of the economics department. The environmental economics project I assisted him with looked at the effects of policy changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on property values in New York City. Through the qualitative work I did for Professor Gibson, I gained extensive knowledge both about the history and state of the NFIP and what it’s like to pursue an academic career. Through my many conversations with my professor and my own individual research, I came to the conclusion that a public policy research career focusing on environmental sociology using quantitative methods may be the path for me. I am immensely grateful to the donors that made my summer position and these insights possible and to the CES Summer Grants Committee.

Ryan Fajardo ’17 – Citizens’ Institute for Rural Design

This internship was supported by the Thomas C. Black 1980 Fund for CES.

I assisted the Citizens’ Institute for Rural Design (CIRD), which is operated by the Project for Public Spaces in coordination with the National Endowment for the Arts. CIRD hosts community workshops in rural towns, connecting local leaders and citizens to support community-based design projects. I researched potential participants for these workshops and reorganized the CIRD website to make sustainable planning resources more accessible. Recent projects include the redevelopment of an abandoned school in a multi-use arts center in Montana and the expansion of a food co-op in rural Missouri. Thanks to CES and the Black Fund for making this possible!

Jordan Fields ’17 – Upper Deschutes Watershed Council

This internship project was supported by the W. Conant Brewer Internships for CES.

Last June, I returned to work for the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council (UDWC) in Bend, Oregon. The UDWC is in the midst of a large restoration project of Whychus Creek in Sisters, Oregon. This stream historically supported 40% of steelhead trout and Chinook salmon spawning in the Upper Deschutes basin but poor water management and channelization of the waterway have all but erased these populations. Working in ArcGIS, I made maps to identify areas most in need of restoration. These maps will be used to repair the damaged Whychus Creek as part of a statewide effort to restore native anadromous fish populations. Thank you to CES and generous alumni for making my time in Oregon possible.

Kathryn Flaharty ’18 – Cold Weather Related Injury in an Underprivileged Boston Population

This internship was support by the Miranda Heller 1978 and Jerry Tone 1977 Environmental Studies Fund.

Last summer, I was at the Boston University School of Public Health where I analyzed a data set from the Boston Medical Center. I recoded patient records of cold-weather related injuries over a ten year period. We want to asses the risks of cold weather/environmental injury among the homeless population in Boston. I ran descriptive analysis tests, such as breakdown of age, homeless/shelter status, and discharge status. I analyzed temperatures, and changes in

temperature in Boston over the same ten-year period to relate to the frequency of cold weather injury to potentially identify a risk factor.

 David Folsom ’17 – Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation

This internship was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

Last summer I worked for the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (WRLF) headquartered at Sheep Hill.  A significant portion of my internship was centered on outdoor educational programs for younger children;  these varied widely from ecology to blacksmithing. I also worked closely with Overland throughout the summer, leading stream hikes every week for their Berkshire Adventure programs and working with their Berkshire Service group to pull invasive species in WRLF owned land.  In my last two weeks with WRLF I helped to create a new section of the Running Pine Trail, and I cleared and expanded the Lahovec Trail along the Green River.  Trails were also the focus of my main summer project; I ran all of the trails in the Williamstown area and created a trail running guide for public use.  I am very thankful to CES and their donors who allowed me to have such an interesting and educational summer internship!

Korinna Garfield ’19 – Environment America

This internship was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

Last summer I interned with Environment America on their “Stop Fracking Our Future” campaign. By doing outreach to mayors, writing opinion pieces, and putting together a toolkit for communities who want to fight fracking within their borders, most of the work I did this summer reestablished  the power of local communities to regulate fracking within their borders. As states across the country are preempting local regulations on fracking, my work this summer was aimed at putting power back in the hands of the people whose health, safety, and environment are at risk from fracking.  I am grateful to John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund for its generous support.

Gemma Holt ’17 – The State of the Arctic: Geopolitics and Geography

This research was supported by the Mellon Fund.

Last summer I conducted preliminary research for my senior thesis. My research was an assessment of social-ecological resilience in the policies and practices of the Arctic Council, and the summer was a great opportunity to explore the historical background of Arctic institutions and the theoretical background of Arctic law and policy. As Arctic issues become increasingly complicated by changes to environmental and economic regimes, it is important to understand how existing governance structures can shape more sustainable futures for social and ecological systems.  Thanks to CES and the A.W. Mellon Fund for sponsoring a great summer!

Jack Hood ’18 – Williamstown Economic Farm Survey

This research project was supported by theScheffey Fund for Environmental Studies.

My internship involved both working at the Williamstown Farmers Market and with Sarah Gardner on an agricultural research report. At the market, I organized live music and worked at the information booth. For my research report, I created an economic farm survey and visited farms in the Williamstown area, interviewing farmers about their operations and costs. I learned a lot about what it takes to sustain a local farm, and I look forward to learning more in the future. I would like to thank  the Scheffy Fund and everyone else that made my CES Summer Grant possible.

Zahida Martinez ’18 – Trash and Place Research

This research was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

I spent my summer traveling through Mexico taking pictures of trash. My project Trash and Place was a photographic essay, documenting trash and portraying the experience of encountering trash while visiting and living in these cities. I visited over ten cities including Tijuana, Ciudad Obregón, Cancun, Veracruz, Campeche and Mexico City. I explored the relationship people have with trash in their city by asking them question about their daily life and how it is they interact with the trash around them every day. Thank you to the Ohly Family and the CES Summer Research fund who made my research possible.

Becky McClements ’17 – Equal Growing in the City: Vegetable Growers’ Understanding of the Bifurcation of the Food System in the Great Boston Area

This research was supported by the Mellon Fund.

Last summer, I explored how vegetable producers in the Greater Boston area are conceiving of and contending with the increasing socio-economic fragmentation of the American food system. I visited and interviewed a dozen for profit and non-profit small-scale vegetable growers in and around the city. I gathered most of my information while volunteering at these farms. Through participant observation and working alongside these farmers, I gained a sense of their mission in farming and how they understand the system within which they operate. I used the interviews and information gathered this summer to support a thesis during my senior year. Thank you so much to the Mellon Fund and CES for making this research possible and  allowing me make many wonderful connections this summer.

Abigail Rampone’17 – Environmentalism and Spirituality in Rural New England

This research was supported by the Bernard M. Schuyler Memorial Internship.

 This creative writing and research project engaged the environmental crisis as a moral crisis. Assuming that “growthism” or capitalism/consumerism is the most unquestioned contemporary religious value, it asks how humanity can rewrite or reinterpret its values in the service of environmentalism. Through poetry and non-fiction, I asked people to critically examine their value systems and imagine how their religious communities could be mobilized to combat environmental degradation and/or how their environmentalist groups can effectively integrate “spiritual” or religious languages in their work. Many thanks to CES, the Schuyler Memorial Internship Fund, and Professor Nicolas Howe for their invaluable support.

Juli Raventos ’18 – The Energiewende

This research was supported by the Thomas C. Black 1980 Fund for CES.

Last summer I travelled to Germany to do research on the Energiewende (energy transition). After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 Germany came up with ambitious goals, including an increase in the use of renewables and a nuclear phase-out by 2022. I visited Freiburg, Berlin, Hamburg and Bremerhaven to study what each of these cities have focused on to achieve Germany’s goals. I was able to meet with people who work in research institutes, renewable energy associations and experts on energy policy. These meetings helped me increase my knowledge about Germany’s energy transition. By visiting sites that focus on solar, wind and geothermal energy, I

learned about the development of these renewables and the community’s perspective on energy transition. It was an extremely interesting project that allowed me to view current issues by combining my two majors in geosciences and economics, and I am very grateful to the Thomas C. Black 1980 Fund and CES for such a great opportunity.

Mauro Renteria ’19 – Community for a Better Environment

This internship was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

 Last summer I interned for a policy director (Bahram Fazeli) who works for Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), a non-profit environmental justice organization.  I was able to immerse myself in the field of environmental policy through direct action on bills and propositions that are crafted in the local area with community and legal support. Then they are presented to a California representative in Sacramento asking if they’re willing to author the bill. I also engaged with community members for a better understanding of their needs. Thank you to the CES, the J.H. Ohly donors, and CBE for this opportunity.

Jeffrey Rubel ’17 – Eat with the Ecosystem

Understanding Consumption of Seasonal Underutilized Seafood

This internship project was supported by the W. Conant Brewer Internships for CES.

How can we shift consumption to sustainable seafood? I wrestled with this question through research with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), using literature review, historical cookbook analysis, survey research, and interviews. Today, we expect a consistent supply of seafood, ignoring biodiversity and seasonal cycles. Instead we should create word-of-mouth initiatives that inspire individuals to “eat SEA-sonally” by focusing on the health value of seafood, and we should create names for fish that have positive associations and invoke perceptions of seafood as smooth and light. Thank you to William Brewer and CES for their financial support, and thank you to my incredible advisor Darra Goldstein.

Sophia Schmidt ’17 – Form-Based Code Research at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.

This internship was supported by the Thomas C. Black 1980 Fund for CES.

Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. (DPZ), an urban planning and architecture firm, founded and remains the authority on the philosophy of New Urbanism, which pushes for economically, socially, and environmentally healthy places. An important tool of New Urbanists is the form-based code, which, unlike most zoning codes of our day, creates mixed-use areas defined by consistent physical character. During my internship, I helped a DPZ partner begin the work of writing a book on form-based codes. I skimmed hundreds of codes—adopted by municipalities and private developers across the country—then wrote summaries of codes with unique attributes, placing them in the context of the form-based code movement.

Rebecca Smith `18 – Kandersteg International Scout Center (KISC)

This internship was support by the Miranda Heller 1978 and Jerry Tone 1977 Environmental Studies Fund.

I would like to thank Ms. Miranda Heller, Mr. F. Jerome Tone, and CES for the opportunity to work in Switzerland this summer at the Kandersteg International Scout Center (KISC), leading hikes, teaching guests from all over the world about environmentally sustainable ideas and practices, and

spreading an awareness and love for the natural habitat we reside in. I led hikes and eco workshops for groups from over 40 countries, showing groups evidence of climate change, discussing the seven Leave No Trace principles, teaching about the Swiss alps, and debating the best forms of renewable energy. The best way to motivate someone to preserve the environment she is surrounded by is to show her the secrets of its beauty and allow her to develop a love and veneration for that place, and I believe that has been the most important work I have been doing this summer. I have learned a lot from thousands of people from all over the world, and aim to carry this knowledge with me back to Williams.

Anqi Tang ’18 – Clark Art Institute

This internship was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

Through the CES grant this summer, I was able to work both as a gallery interpreter at the Clark Art Institute and also interned with Matthew Noyes, the Grounds Manager at the Clark.

The exhibition at the Clark was titled, “Sensing Place, Reflecting on Stone Hill” and focused on the history, science, and geology of Stone Hill, a natural landmark of Williamstown.

I see now that I can use art, which has always been of interest for me, to share important and seminal information. I’ve grown to appreciate the physical places around me, and I know more about Stone Hill than about my own hometown now. This grant has allowed me to home in on my own interests and also find my identity in a place with which I have had the pleasure to interact.

Eleanor Wachtel ’17 – Ecotrust

This internship was support by the Miranda Heller 1978 and Jerry Tone 1977 Environmental Studies Fund.

I spent the summer interning with Ecotrust in Portland, Oregon. Ecotrust’s dual focus on people and place is the cornerstone of their innovative environmental work. I interned with their large mapping team. I mapped where California Native Americans collect their resources and areas they are concerned about. The hundreds of maps are a means of documenting their oral storytelling and providing the government information on the tribes’ practices. Next, I calculated and mapped carbon dioxide storage baselines for forest owners looking to earn carbon credits in the California cap and trade system. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity!

 Johanna Wassermann ’18 – Hoosic River Revival

This internship was supported by the W. Conant Brewer Internships Fund.

I spent two months interning for the Hoosic River Revival in North Adams. I worked alongside local educators and outreach coordinators at CLiA and MCLA to develop a flexible outdoor curriculum about the Hoosic River for Elementary students. After running my lessons with students from Brayton, I was offered the chance to expand my lesson plan into a full-length after-school program for students at Brayton, Colegrove, and Greylock schools. I am now working with CLiA and MCLA to develop a new position for Williams students interested in environmental curriculum development. Many thanks to the W. Conant Brewer Internship Fund and the CES Summer Grant Committee for funding an amazing summer!

Miranda Weinland ’19 – Marine Megafauna Foundation

This internship was supported by the W. Conant Brewer Internships Fund.


I interned for four weeks at the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) in Tofo, Inhambane, Mozambique this summer. I conducted research on giant manta ray, cetacean, sea turtle, and whale shark populations and migration patterns, and also aided scientists in efforts to strengthen an identification database for these marine animals. I was involved in the marine research through scuba-diving, data entry and analysis, shark dissections, and community outreach initiatives to aid MMF in its various conservation programs and reef-closure proposals. Both CES and my sponsor, William Brewer, deserve my utmost appreciation and gratitude for making this life-changing experience possible.


Charley Wyser ’17 – Building Happy Communities:

An Examination of How Subjective Mood, Attitudes, and Behaviors Vary with Respect to Environmental Preference

This research was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

How does environmental preference relate to our psychology?  We created a questionnaire and gathered responses from 106 participants.  Through it, we were able to examine and compare four wide ranging variables: subjective happiness, place preference, sustainable behavior, and environmental attitudes.  The preliminary results indicate that happier individuals walk or bike to work more frequently than their less happy peers.  These same individuals also tend to eat more locally grown foods.  Covering global issues such as poverty, and environmental issues like the loss of biodiversity, the survey revealed core attitudinal differences between participants who prefer urban environments and those who prefer rural environments.  Although the survey was completed by a relatively small group, the results could have broader implications concerning happiness in relation to place.  We would like to thank Mr. and Ms. Ohly for their generous funding which made this study possible.

Yolanda Zhao ’18 – Greenline Gardens at Shelby Farms Park

This internship was supported by the John Hallowell Ohly, Sr., 1933 Memorial Fund.

My 6-week internship at the Greenline Garden in the Shelby Farms Park encompassed learning hands on gardening skills, co-leading field trips, organizing garden events (mobile farm markets etc.), promoting the garden via various social platforms, and managing a group of garden volunteers and fellows. The Shelby Farms Park sees itself as a people-powered urban park. Indeed, the most fulfilling part of my internship was interacting with people in the garden, at the office,  at the Greensummit Conference (in which I tabled for the park).  I’m grateful that this CES-sponsored internship has strengthened my faith in the community-building potential of urban green spaces and has reinvigorated my interest in life sciences and public health.