As Audubon North Carolina’s Climate and Policy Intern, Cat will be supporting two projects – exploring potential for our future engagement with the NC Birding Trail and pursuing a NRCS funding opportunity to expand our work with private landowners in the Yadkin-Pee Dee Watershed through an innovative pilot project.
What are you most excited about taking away from your Audubon internship?
I’m most excited to take away an understanding of how NGOs can effectively join high-level policy conversations and influence outcomes. For example, it was so neat to watch Audubon’s network come together to speak to legislators about the importance of protecting riparian buffers – and for their efforts to be truly impactful.
What has been your favorite experience so far?
I loved having the chance to go out to the Audubon Sanctuary at Pine Island. It was exciting to witness firsthand the great potential behind Audubon’s work in the Currituck Sound. The history is so rich, and I am confident that Pine Island’s future will be equally as rich with education, science and discovery.
What do you hope others learn about the work Audubon does in NC?
At the end of the day, Audubon’s conservation focus is first and foremost on birds. I just hope that people realize that the state of bird populations is indicative of the health of the rest of the environment. I know that some iteration of this has been integral to Audubon’s revitalized mission, and it’s true - when you protect birds, you really do protect everything else.
Have you picked out a favorite bird?
I’m going to go with the Northern Cardinal for two reasons. The first is that my 96-year-old grandmother loves to watch cardinals in her yard, and anything that makes her that happy is pretty great in my book. Secondly, I have Carl the Cardinal on my desk, the stuffed bird that chirps when you squeeze it. I’ve grown quite fond of him these last few months.
Please help us welcome Cat! Cat’s internship is supported by the Stanback Internship Program.
Click here to learn more about our climate work in North Carolina. To stay up to date on policy issues where your voice can make a difference for NC birds, sign up for Audubon’s Action Alert Network.