Hey there! I’m Natasha, the fourth and final intern here at Klondike Gold Rush NHP. I am a Seattlite at heart although I grew up in upstate NY until I was a teenager. However, Seattle and Washington state are what turned me into the outdoors enthusiast and conservationist I am today. I moved to Seattle and immediately started skiing, hiking, boating, and just getting outside. The mountains blew me away and the access to water seemed unreal.
Between my first and second years at McGill, I took a year off to work with an AmeriCorps Team in a program called National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). I did 4 different projects, but 2 stand out as my favorites. I got to build a trail just outside St. Louis, Missouri, learning all about how trails are planned and then built and living in an old visitor’s center in the middle of a park. I also got to work on a wildland firefighting handcrew in Colorado, where I learned about wild fires and got to spend my days outside, either fighting fires, or working on fire prevention. During my free time in AmeriCorps, I traveled to other national parks around the Southwest, visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde, and the Grand Canyon.
My favorite things in the world are mountains, especially large mountains. This means, predictably, that Mt. Rainier is my absolute favorite place in Washington State. I’ve done the Wonderland Trail as well as many other hikes on the mountain. I’ve also spent some time volunteering with trail crews to improve the trails in and around the Park.
This last winter, I was lucky enough to be able to spend my semester doing a field study in East Africa and traveling around Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda, while learning from various professors and conducting research projects in my areas of interest. After the program was over, I set off to fulfill a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl and I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (also known as the roof of Africa!).
I’m now here interning with SCA at the Klondike Gold Rush NHP for the summer, where I hope to improve outreach to urban youth and learn more about the NPS and Washington’s National Parks!
– Natasha Way, SCA Intern