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Summer 2019 Mono Lake Committee staff migrations

May 31st, 2019 by Jessica, Office Director

The 2018 Mono Lake Committee staff; 2019 staff arrive today! Photo by Elin Ljung.

Incoming seasonal staff are like spring flows in the creeks, bringing excitement, growth, and renewal to the whole Mono Basin. Without them, our extensive education programs at the lake and in the Information Center & Bookstore would be nearly impossible, and their zest for all things Mono Lake reminds us why we are all here.

We have two staff returning this year. Ava Stavros is back for her third year as an Outdoor Education Instructor after a winter working at The Lift café, a new woman-owned business in June Lake. Alison Kaplan will once again be leading weekend tours as the Canoe Coordinator after working for the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County over the winter.

Information Center & Bookstore Assistant Kevin Brown has a wealth of retail experience in addition to experience as an educator and researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, UC Santa Barbara, and for Pittsburgh city parks. With his background in US environmental history, he will be well-suited to assisting visitors in the store.

Merryn Venugopal, Information Center & Bookstore Assistant, has a strong background in customer service and retail. She has spent time working, volunteering, and climbing in Yosemite Valley, and knows the Eastern Sierra and Mono Lake well. Additionally, her minor in Travel & Tourism from Clemson University will make her a great addition to the bookstore staff.

Since graduating from Brown University in 2017, Outdoor Education Instructor Miranda Norlin has worked as a Wilderness Educator for Baxter State Park in Maine, a crew member for Nevada Conservation Corps, and a farm manager on Musk Ox Farm in Alaska. Her commitment to environmental education and public lands interpretation will serve her well at the Outdoor Education Center.

Krista Fanucchi is eager to bring her birding and interpretive experience to the Mono Lake Committee as this year’s Birding Intern. With experience at HawkWatch International, Point Blue Conservation Science, and Yosemite National Park doing both research and interpretation, she is well prepared to lead bird walks this summer.

Caroline Bottega, Mono Lake Intern, graduated from Lafayette College this spring, where she was a teaching assistant for the Environmental Geology lab, and a tutor in the college’s writing program. This season at Mono Lake will likely be quite different than her environmental consulting internship at Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, her most recent position.

Mono Lake Intern Meghan Cihasky started out her college career at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where she was a successful cross country/track and field athlete, but after studying abroad in Christchurch, New Zealand and being inspired by how environmental issues are handled in other parts of the world, she is excited to explore how a successful environmental non-profit works to save Mono Lake.

Chloe Isaacs, Mono Lake Intern, graduated from Oberlin College with a major in Geology and minors in French and East Asian Studies. She studied abroad in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she researched humpback whale migration. She has interned at the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut, where she was in charge of the teen outreach program, reinvigorated the park’s social media presence, and assisted with promotional strategy.

Mono Lake Intern AnnaLisa Mayer graduated in May from Sterling College in Vermont. She first visited Mono Lake during a semester in the West course, and is bringing her natural history knowledge back to help with South Tufa and canoe tours. Not only has she guided ecology walks and done trail maintenance, she is also a Suzuki violin teacher.

Ellie Neifeld, Mono Lake Intern, attends Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and is working on her BA in Earth & Oceanographic Science. She is an outing club leader, and loves to guide canoe trips and off-trail orienteering. She has studied abroad in Iceland and the Himalaya, hiked the John Muir Trail, and rock climbed all over the world. She volunteers with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Bowdoin College Children’s Center, and the Bowdoin Food Co-op.

Interested in working at Mono Lake, or know someone who might be? We accept applications for seasonal staff positions each year starting January 1. Find more information here.

This post was also published as an article in the Summer 2019 Mono Lake Newsletter (page 26).