Meet INHF's 2024 Summer Interns

Posted on June 20, 2024 in Blog

Meet our 2024 summer interns! With 18 interns out in the field and three in the office, INHF is pleased to introduce this group of young hands and voices making a difference this summer. 

Loess Hills Land Stewardship Interns

Hannah HagemanHannah

Hometown: Bronson, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Bur oak

University: Iowa State University

Major(s): Forestry

“I am exited to work with different organizations across the state. Applying the knowledge I am learning in school to the field is also an exciting part of this internship.”

Sam ThompsonSam

Hometown: Papillion, NE

Favorite native plant/animal: American bison

University: Iowa State University

Major(s): Animal Ecology

Minor(s): Forestry

“I am really excited to get to work alongside professionals in the field and learn more about Iowa’s wildlands. I am also looking forward to learning lots of new plants and animals!”

Katelyn HansenKatelyn

Hometown: Omaha, NE

Favorite native plant/animal: Goldenrod

University: University of Omaha Nebraska

Major(s): Environmental Science

“I am most looking forward to getting hands on experience and learning from professionals in conservation this summer.”

Central Iowa Land Stewardship Interns

Carl BecickaCarl

Hometown: West Des Moines, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Hepatica, prairie skink

University: Iowa State University

Major(s): Animal Ecology, environmental science

“I’m excited to learn about different conservation management tactics and getting experience with them, along with learning more native plant and animal species such as prairie violet.”

Abby HackenmillerAbby

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Favorite native plant/animal: Jack-in-the-pulpit

University: Iowa State University 

Major(s): Environmental Science

Minor(s): Psychology

“I am most excited about being in nature and learning more about restoring and managing land, water, and wildlife from an insider perspective. I am also looking forward to strengthening my knowledge on Iowa’s native prairie plants.”

Josie HutchingsJosie

Hometown: Pleasantville IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Indigo Bunting

University: University of Northern Iowa

Major(s): Biology: Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Minor(s): Earth Science

“I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge on habitat restoration, seeing new areas in Iowa, and improving the quality of local ecosystems.”

Kayla LindquistKayla

Hometown: Pecatonica, IL

Favorite native plant/animal: Blue-eyed grass

University: Central College

Major(s): Environmental Science

“I am most excited about seeing some more of Iowa’s hidden gems and getting to help maintain and restore the much needed ecosystems and biodiversity in the state.”

Claira MillerClaira

Hometown: Colo, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Prairie rose

University: Iowa State University

Major(s): Animal Science

Minor(s): Agronomy

“I am excited about all the different prairies we will work in, gaining hands-on experience in these environments, as well as working alongside the crew and getting to know new people excited about conservation.”

Jake RosenowJake

Hometown: Waukee, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Meadow Lark

University: Central College

Major(s): Environmental Science

Minor(s): Biology

“I am very excited to work on land management projects and make a positive impact on native ecosystems. I also am committed on enhancing my plant identification and learning more about different positions in the conservation field.”

Eastern Iowa Land Stewardship Interns

Kenzie DonovanKenzie

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Monarch butterfly

University: University of Iowa

Major(s): Sustainability Science

Minor(s): Environmental Science

“I am most excited to meet people that have similar interests as me and get to know the other interns. I am also really excited to learn all about Iowa’s native plants and landscapes and get a better handle on plant IDs.”

Liam EdbergLiam

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Wild plum

University: Luther College

Major(s): Environmental Studies

Minor(s): Music

“I’m excited to learn about careers in conservation/land stewardship, learn more native flowers and be outside!”

Maeve ReynenMaeve

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Foxglove beardtongue

University: University of Iowa

Major(s): Sustainable Development

“I’m looking forward to getting to see how the prairie changes throughout the summer, and learning how to ID plants!”

Blufflands Land Stewardship Interns

Kale FolkertsKale

Hometown: Allison, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: American Goldfinch, spiderwort

University: Wartburg College

Major(s): Environmental Studies

“I’m excited to learn as much as I can about the environment and how I can better it. It’s fun to be outside and taking care of the environment in return for everything it does for us, so why not learn about it at the same time?”

Owen MatzekOwen

Hometown: Hastings, MN

Favorite native plant/animal: Brook trout

University: Luther College

Major(s): Environmental Science

Minor(s): Biology, Spanish

“I am most excited to learn how to safely down large trees using a chainsaw.”

Luke MorarendLuke

Hometown: Asbury, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Chinkapin oak

University: Iowa State University

Major(s): Forestry

Minor(s): Geographic Information Systems

“I am most looking forward to meeting and networking with different people throughout the state. I am also excited to expand my knowledge of forestry and conservation in Iowa.”

Ele SheetsEle

Hometown: Liscomb, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: American robin, wild bergamot

University: Iowa State University

Major(s): Animal Ecology

“I’m looking forward to learning more about plant identification and expanding my lifelist.”

Ethan StockwellEthan

Hometown: Norwalk, IA 

Favorite native plant/animal: Brook trout

University: Wartburg College

Major(s): Environmental Science

Minor(s): Sociology

“I am looking forward to restoring native ecosystems back to their original state.”

Tyler Wilwert

Hometown: North Buena Vista, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Bottled genetian

University: Upper Iowa University

Major(s): Conservation Management

Minor(s): Coaching certificate

“What I look forward to the most is the crew’s impact on the land as the year goes by. I also hope to see the effects on some of these properties next year.”

Office Interns

Jordan McDowell, Graphic Design InternJordan

Hometown: Boone, IA

Favorite native plant/animal: Purple coneflower

University: Iowa State University

Major(s): Graphic Design

Minor: Entrepreneurship

“I’m excited to create fun and innovative designs that will be used by INHF and partners for years to come while experiencing and learning about the beautiful parts of Iowa that I haven’t yet explored!”

Zoe Stonetree, Conservation Programs InternZoe

Hometown: Dedham, ME 

Favorite native plant/animal: Mountain mint

University: Iowa State University

Major(s): Creative Writing and Environment (master’s program)

“I’m excited to bring my background in writing and my interest in conservation to grant writing projects this summer! I also look forward to learning more about Iowa’s landscapes and communities through research in the office and visiting new-to-me parts of the state.”

Clara Wodny, Communications Intern

Hometown: Duluth, MN

Favorite native plant/animal: Painted turtle

University: Luther College

Major(s): English; Visual Communications

“I am looking forward to expanding my writing/communication skills while helping promote a very important organization and learning a lot about conservation and environmental concerns! I am thrilled to be able to put my experience and skillset to use for a cause I really believe in that makes a huge positive impact on my communities.”