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Meet WRC Intern Will Thinnes!

Hi! My name is Will Thinnes, a current intern at the Wolf River Conservancy. Growing up in Memphis, I attended White Station High School and Lausanne Collegiate School, where I graduated in 2014. I first learned about the Wolf River Conservancy in high school after spending two weeks at the Summer Career Exploration Program, which allowed high school students to experience various environmental careers firsthand through field trips around the Memphis area. After high school, I attended University of California, Berkeley, where I received my Bachelor of Science in Ecological Restoration and Environmental Policy in May 2018. Following a summer internship filled with planting trees at Friends of the Urban Forest in San Francisco, I flew to Europe to work on an organic farm as a part of WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) where I reviewed and practiced sustainable agricultural methods while trying to muster up all of the French I had learned in high school. I moved back to Memphis in January to research job opportunities, and joined the WRC as an intern in February to gain experience and learn more about land conservation in urban environments.

            My time at the WRC has been fruitful and fulfilling. Over the course of a few weeks, I have learned a great deal about the mission of the WRC as an accredited land trust and about non-profit operations in general. In the office, I have learned about the intricacies of fundraising and financial management from Kelsey Hamilton on the development team, map generation and formulation of conservation values from Ryan Hall, as well as non-profit management from Keith Cole, the Executive Director. Furthermore, from joining staff meetings to witnessing conference calls and webinars, I have gained more perspective on how effective communication is essential for day-to-day operation at the WRC. In the field, I have witnessed the development of the Wolf River Greenway, planted trees in conserved lands, and learned more about the management of different landscapes. A major highlight of the internship has been working with Cathy Justis, Director of Education, and attending elementary school science nights or leading students to remove Chinese privet, an invasive species, surrounding trails around the Wolf River. The education component of the internship has been one of my favorite duties as an intern, and has further given me a great appreciation for the understanding and patience that educators must have. Overall, I am extremely grateful for my experience at the Wolf River Conservancy as it has allowed me to experience a variety of careers in the environmental field. Moving on, I will be much more confident in my choice of career path since I have been able to experience the different aspects of it during my time at the Wolf River Conservancy.

Roy W. Thinnes

B.S. Ecological Restoration and Environmental Policy

University of California, Berkeley ~ Class of 2018

Posted by Cathy Justis at 1:40 PM