Maddie Feaster ’21 Talks About Her Internship for the Gabel Fellowship

Maddie Feaster is a Masters in Environmental Policy student at Pace University. She entered Pace’s Environmental Policy program following her experience as a volunteer for Sound Watch in Friday Harbor, WA. She decided to volunteer after learning about the Southern Resident Killer Whales’ critically endangered status, a species she has deeply cared about since she was a child.

By Maddie Feaster ’21

During my externship in Friday Harbor, WA with Friends of the San Juans, I assisted with the organization’s Shoreline Armor Mapping and Change Analysis. I participated in the regulatory review portion of the project which involved compiling and analyzing local, state, and federal permit records for all new, expanded or removed armor identified within the past decade throughout San Juan County, WA.

I am fortunate enough to continue the regulatory review to its completion and in doing so I will help identify management implications to assist managers and regulators to implement solutions to improve regulatory effectiveness. In addition, I performed forage fish spawning surveys in which I collected and processed sand samples from several beaches throughout the San Juan Islands. Many of those samples carried forage fish eggs and are now protected from shoreline developments. I also took part in legislative tracking and provided testimony in support of bills to aid in the protection and recovery of threatened Chinook salmon populations and critically endangered species like the Southern Resident Killer Whales. Overall, my work with Friends of the San Juans provided me with the technical skills I needed to prepare for my upcoming fellowship this summer.

This summer I will be working with Hudson Riverkeeper as a Legislative Policy Intern for the Gabel fellowship. During my internship I will work directly with Riverkeeper’s Legislative Advocacy Manager assisting on legislative and public affairs, research, communications, as well as provide administrative support. I will assist Riverkeeper in lobbying legislators and their staff on the organization’s legislative priorities along with reviewing, analyzing, and tracking legislation. I will draft testimonies on budget priorities and legislation, a process I am now familiar with from my externship with Friends of the San Juans.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to assist on projects that can facilitate true change and learn valuable policymaking and advocacy skills from two very reputable and effective environmental organizations. I am looking forward to what the future has in store following these experiences.

The Gabel Fellowship fund supports three students’ summer internships at non-profit organizations that promote environmental and climate change activism.

Maddie Feaster

Maddie Feaster

Friends of the San Juans/Riverkeeper

Maddie Feaster is a Masters in Environmental Policy student at Pace University. This summer, she will be working with Hudson Riverkeeper as a Legislative Policy intern. Some of her research interests include marine mammal conservation, wildlife protection, and marine habitat restoration.

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