Welcome to our Summer Interns & Fellow!

Jane Olsen

Hello! My name is Jane, and I’m interning at Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust for the summer of 2022. I am so excited to join this wonderful community.

I am going into my Junior Year at Bowdoin College, pursuing a dual-degree in English and Government and Legal Studies with a minor in Environmental Studies. This past semester I wrote a column for The Bowdoin Orient called A Moment in Maine. After months of exploring the natural beauty around campus, I have come to admire all of the work that the Land Trust does to support this community and am so excited to be a part of this team.

I am from New York City and have always been passionate about strengthening community ties and am looking forward to bringing this passion for community support to my work this summer in Maine. Despite my urban upbringing, I have always loved spending time in nature. Since coming to Bowdoin, I have enjoyed bike rides around campus and venturing out for longer hikes.

This summer, I will be assisting with projects at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden, primarily supporting the work of the Common Good Garden and the New Mainers garden. I will also be cultivating a plot of my own! I am excited to get to know the plot holders, volunteers and all of the other friends of the Land Trust. Along these lines, I will be compiling a series of profiles of the plot holders to highlight the wonderful people at the garden.

I am thrilled to be working with the Land Trust this summer and looking forward to seeing you all in the Community Garden, at the BTLT Farmers’ Market, or out on the trails!

Cora Spelke

Hello BTLT community! My name is Cora Spelke and I am interning at the Land Trust for the 2022 summer. I am super excited to work with such an incredible group of people that does such amazing work for our community.

I am a rising sophomore at Amherst College in Massachussetts, but I grew up in Topsham and graduated from Mt. Ararat in 2021. I am undecided on my major but I am planning on majoring in math and am also interested in statistics, computer science, and environmental studies. Growing up in this area I was lucky to have so many great trails and outdoor opportunities close by, and I am excited to help the BTLT continue their amazing work.

This summer I will be doing a mix of office work and outdoor work. Outside, I will be helping Jane in the community gardens as well as various outdoor projects on the trails. Inside I will be helping with reaccreditation, learning about non-profits and any other help that is needed around the office.

I look forward to this summer and working with the entire BTLT community!

Megan Leach

Megan Leach is a graduate student at the University of Maine, Orono. She’s a student in the Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology (WFCB) department and a trainee in the University of Maine’s National Research Traineeship (NRT) program in Conservation Science, funded by the National Science Foundation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Botany option from Millersville University of Pennsylvania, as well as a masters in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine, Orono. During her masters, Megan studied pollinator behavior and conservation practices. She then went on to teach high school science in Jackman, Maine and work as a curriculum coordinator for the educational non-profit Rural Aspirations. She decided to go back to school to learn how to combine her experience in biophysical research and education for conservation, which led her to her current position in WFCB and the Conservation NRT at the University of Maine.

Her research focuses broadly on human dimensions of natural resource conservation and applying social science theories to resource management issues. Her research focuses on Maine’s vernal pool conservation efforts and the Vernal Pool Special Area Management Plan (VP SAMP). She is working to understand the challenges and opportunities this conservation tool provides for municipalities and conservation organizations and develop tools that make it easier to adopt and apply. She is working with Brunswick-Topsham Land trust to understand how the VP SAMP conservation criteria will affect vernal pool conservation in the town of Topsham and learn more about private landowner perceptions in the community.