Our BHIC Alum of the Month, Will Freund, was an intern on our conservation team throughout the summer of 2018. He has a BS in Biology from the College of Charleston. Freund is now an education consultant for the Redford Center’s environmental justice program: Redford Center Stories. Freund shared with our team what he has been up to since his summer spent on Bald Head Island.
Hi, Will! Can you share a bit about your time and work at Bald Head Island Conservancy?
As a conservation and research intern, I had the opportunity to work on many of the important, ongoing projects at the Conservancy including oyster spat monitoring, bird surveys for the terminal groin, water quality monitoring, deer & alligator surveying, and invasive plant removal. Highlights for me include participating in my first sea turtle nest excavation, rebuilding the husbandry snake enclosures, and rescuing a coachwhip snake from garden netting.
What are some valuable lessons that you learnt while interning, and how do you utilize them today?
More than anything, I learned to balance multiple tasks and projects at the same time. This has been such a valuable skill to learn and develop that has helped me greatly in my work since. Knowing what needs to be done, when, where, and with who, is such a transferrable skill. Also, weather can be brutal and you have to learn to embrace the suck when it’s hot, wet, windy, or anything else. It will end eventually and you will be proud of the work you did.
Where has your career taken you since your summer interning on Bald Head Island?
I currently work with The Redford Center as an education consultant for their Redford Center Stories environmental justice program. Additionally, I am in post-production on my recent climate awareness documentary project, Climate, Kayak, and Conversation. During this project, I kayaked 1,100 miles from Florida to Virginia and stopped by BHI! Lastly, I am serving on the board of directors of the Environmental Educators of North Carolina as Communications Chair. This year, I want to finish my first documentary and begin work on my second. I also want to publish my first science communication article.
Is there anything you’d like to say to our staff here at the Conservancy?
I want to say a huge thank you to Beth Darrow who started during my season and absolutely knocked it out of the park. You helped me in so many ways during my time as an intern and continue to be a great mentor and colleague today.
The Bald Head Island Conservancy (BHIC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 that exists to discover, learn, conserve, and preserve. The Conservancy is located in a unique area within the Smith Island Complex which includes Bald Head, Middle and Bluff Islands, all of which are bounded by the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean.