Kayla is a rising senior at Colgate University who joins AdkAction as an Adirondack Pollinator Project intern. Having grown up in a small town outside of Albany, Kayla was lucky enough to be only a few hours away from her favorite Adirondack destinations. She spent much of her childhood visiting her family’s cabin in Newcomb, competing in figure skating competitions in Lake Placid, skiing at Whiteface and Gore Mountain, and tubing and waterskiing on Lake George. Kayla’s family loves the Adirondacks and made sure that she spent plenty of time outdoors when she was young.
At Colgate, Kayla is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and English. She is passionate about sustainability and enjoys reading, writing, and editing. Kayla had the opportunity to assist her professor in the summer of 2022 with an ongoing book project about perceptions of pesticide use across various U.S. agricultural regions. This experience introduced her to the community beyond the classroom and allowed her to meet farmers and other stakeholders whom she interviewed alongside her professor. In addition to her past research, Kayla is involved with the Colgate greenhouse by giving tours and caring for the plants. She is also involved in the school’s figure skating club and enjoys practicing her skills whenever she gets the chance.
The chance to work in the Adirondacks is just one of the reasons why Kayla decided to apply for the intern position this summer. She also wanted to experience working for a nonprofit organization and has found the staff at AdkAction to be welcoming and passionate about conservation and an interconnected community. Kayla has always loved bees and other pollinators, and was interested in the work that AdkAction’s Pollinator Project has done since its inception. This summer, Kayla will be assessing how effective various initiatives within the project have been while also researching potential opportunities and partnerships for the future. Given that the project has matured significantly since its creation in 2016, it is important for AdkAction to reflect on successes and potential gaps that can be addressed in strategic conservation plans for the coming years. This evaluation will help the organization maximize its impact on Adirondack pollinator conservation without taking time away from the important work that is being done now.
Outside of the office, Kayla plans to attend as many AdkAction events as possible this summer and immerse herself in the Keeseville community. Her first day was spent painting face painting various pollinators at the June 3rd plant sale, which she plans to assist with again at the Keeseville Community Arts Festival on July 21-22. She also hopes to help out with the Library Buzz program and work in the demonstration pollinator gardens throughout the summer with fellow AdkAction staff.