Hi! My name is Sophie Pedzich and I am a rising senior at Colgate University. I am an Environmental Biology major and Art & Art History minor. I grew up in western New York in a small town close to Rochester, where I was lucky to be close to beautiful places like Lake Ontario and the Adirondack Park. I fell in love with nature and the outdoors because I was able to visit these places every summer, and throughout my education have pursued opportunities that keep me close to nature. I am beyond excited to be “out West” and working at the Henry’s Fork Foundation, which so dedicated to this lovely river!
Before this summer at HFF, my previous work experience has been under the guidance of Professor Timothy McCay at Colgate. In his lab, I have had the opportunity to study the ecology of an invasive group of earthworms known as “jumping worms” – and yes, they really do jump! Through a mixture of field work and facilitating a lab study, I have really developed a passion for ecology and sharing scientific knowledge with others, which is why my role as HFF’s Communications and Outreach intern is something I am super excited about.
While working on a project focused on jumping worms, I was able to spend lots of time in New York’s Adirondack Park! I am excited to be working in a completely different ecosystem this summer.
During my internship, I will be working on several projects focused on communications, outreach, and education with my mentor Jasper Davis. These include designing a hands-on, educational cart for the Foundation’s interpretive center, planning new events such as a Watershed Festival, designing graphics for social media, and assisting in established programs like Morning Bites. So far, I have loved the variety in this position and look forward to each day at work.
While installing cattle fencing during our first week, I saw the cutest little bumble bee hard at work!
Outside of work and school, I am an avid horseback rider. I am one of the captains of Colgate’s hunt seat equestrian team and love being a part of such a supportive and welcoming group. I also enjoy art, particularly painting, but recently have been doing lots of photography and teaching myself digital art tools like Procreate and Adobe Illustrator. This summer, I hope to continue working on my photography skills in this beautiful part of the country while going for hikes in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. I also plan on experiencing some of the events Southeast Idaho has to offer, including rodeos, small-town music festivals, and 4th of July parades! I can’t wait to continue sharing the work that I am doing this summer, so stay tuned for updates.
I have been to Yellowstone National Park twice so far, seeing sights like this bear (above) and Clear Lake (below)! I am excited to go back soon, as well as visit other natural areas in this region.