Meet Our Summer Interns, Grace and Jessica

 Jessica Martin       Grace Sammarco


Jessica Martin:

Growing up in the Alabama wilderness, I developed a deep love of nature from an early age. I would spend countless hours roaming the woods behind my grandparent's house, climbing trees with my cousins to see who could make it the highest, collecting insects in jars simply to gain a closer look, and sharing sunflower seeds with my dog in a field of grass as the days wound to an end.

I found myself in Memphis four years ago when my husband was offered a job at a local company, and it was here my love for biology blossomed. Life is a wondrous and mysterious thing, it fascinates me in such a way that I yearn to understand every level in which it exists, and with that love of life comes an honest desire to protect it. I have always deeply cared for this planet, but it wasn't until I had my daughter that I really felt moved to help save it.

I am quickly approaching my senior year at the University of Memphis where I will earn a bachelor's degree in biology. I aim to focus my career in the field of conservation in hopes to protect and enhance our environment for not only my children, but for all the children of our future. I came to Wolf River Conservancy to gain insight into exactly what category of conservation I feel most called towards. They have provided me with a variety of knowledge that has far exceeded my expectations. Wolf River Conservancy is made up of a group of truly amazing people that share a deep passion for protecting Wolf River and its watershed. They work diligently to ensure the city of Memphis has clean water for generations to come and in doing so they are helping save the world in their own beautiful way. I could not have asked for a better internship, and I am so thankful for the opportunity and all they have taught me along the way.”

Grace Sammarco:

Throughout my life I always fostered a love for astronomy. As I entered high school that love snowballed into a hobby, and a hobby into a large part of me and my life. But with an astronomically aware mind, something interesting happens. Your entire perspective changes. You realize that home is just a pale blue dot, unmatched in likeness in all of the known universe. You carry that knowledge with you every day. It didn’t take long for this awareness to provoke a push in me to pursue environmental science and conservation. I know that my love for this world is something innate, and an innate love for something is a passion. Coming up on my senior year of high school I knew it was time to take a job working with people who shared my passion. That led me to the Wolf River Conservancy, a place where the phrase “think global act local” takes on a whole new meaning.

Although it has been said before, everyone at the Wolf River Conservancy truly has a passion for caring for the Wolf River and is optimistic about its future. Something that I’ve learned here is that this attitude is contagious, therefore when you get enough enthusiastic people to act local, more and more people will follow until acting local becomes thinking (and acting) global. That is just how it goes, especially at the Wolf River Conservancy.

Being an intern at the Conservancy has given me a deeper appreciation for a countless many things, but most of all my appreciation for the passionate people here who think global and act local has grown greatly. I am thankful to have begun my role as one of these people at such a truly incredible place.


Posted by Cathy Justis at 10:24 PM