Meet the Interns

Meet the Fall 2017 Bio/Diversity Project Interns!


Alexis Cardenas

My name is Alexis Cardenas and I’m a Tucson native. My major is Sustainable Built Environments in the College of Architecture. Science communication has been a focal point of my academic career, and community outreach played an important role in getting me to pursue a degree in a science- and engineering-related profession. Joining the Bio/Diversity Project felt like a natural fit and an opportunity to give back. Teaching has been a rewarding experience because I found that all students have a passion for topics that they are excited about within education. I’m grateful to have spent my last semester as an undergraduate teaching at Mansfeld Magnet Middle School, because I was able to explore and express my love of nature and learning in hopes of inspiring the next generation to do the same.


Alison Conley

My name is Alison Conley and I participated in The Bio/Diversity Project during fall 2017. I am an Environmental & Water Resource Economics major with a minor in Business Administration. Through this experience I learned about how to be an effective teacher and how to communicate science to young students. Most importantly, this internship taught me how to balance my time and about the importance of promoting diversity in STEM. One of the best parts of this internship was the relationships that I built through it. We had the opportunity to meet people working in the environmental science field both on and off campus – from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Saguaro National Park, to like-minded students and faculty doing incredible things on campus. It was a one of a kind experience to work side by side with teachers to spark an interest in students who may not have previously felt that they could be scientists.


Ashlyn Bauman


My name is Ashlyn Bauman and I am currently a sophomore in the Honors College at the University of Arizona. I am majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and minoring in Environmental Science and Marine Biology. I taught at Pueblo High Magnet School in Ms. Raizk's AP Environmental Science class. It was an amazing opportunity to work with such kind and smart individuals and I am grateful for the experiences and knowledge that I gained through this internship.



Carlos Valenzuela (no picture available). Junior studying Sustainable Built Environments at the University of Arizona. Interned in a 3rd grade classroom at Vesey Elementary School.


Charlie Landa

Hello, my name is Charlie Landa. I am a senior majoring in Fisheries Conservation & Management and minoring in Marine Science. I am interested in working with marine life and educating the public about conservation efforts. When I heard about the WISE Bio/Diversity Project, I knew it would be an excellent opportunity to gain more teaching experience. I developed a strong sense of adaptability and time management skills for my future career in zoo or marine science education. Working with 8th graders at Mansfeld Middle School made me realize that regardless of whether they were born in Arizona or which gender or ethnicity they pertain to, they are interested in learning about Sonoran Desert biodiversity. It was a memorable opportunity that I will never forget, especially the experience of dissecting squid with over 200 8th grade students!


Cherry Niel

My name is Cherry Niel and I'm a senior studying Environmental Science and Biochemistry. I love science, biology in particular, and I especially love seeing kids get excited about it! This semester I co-taught three 3rd grade classes at Tully Elementary, and a Kindergarten class at Booth-Fickett Elementary. Although I don't want to be a teacher in the future, this opportunity gave me the invaluable experience to develop my science communication skills for all age levels and audiences. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in each of the classrooms and it was amazing to see the students actually learn and ask questions about topics that I love too!


Cristina Moraga FrancoMy name is Cristina Moraga and I am currently a sophomore studying Nutritional Sciences. I had the amazing opportunity to work with the Bio/Diversity Project over the 2017 fall semester. I was an intern at Hollinger K-8 School, and taught biodiversity classes to 6th grade students in both English and Spanish. Teaching was such an enriching experience, especially when I could see the impact that I was making and how much the children looked forward to this program. The Bio/Diversity Project has given me numerous new skills and exposed me to many new experiences, and I am so grateful for that.


Emily Laughlin


My name is Emily Laughlin and I’m a junior majoring in Gender and Women’s Studies. As an intern for the Bio/Diversity Project, I taught in a 3rd grade classroom at Vesey Elementary. Throughout the semester I introduced new environmental science topics to my students and it was amazing to watch their curiosity and understanding grow. The opportunity to inspire a love of science in students of all backgrounds was an incredibly rewarding experience and I am looking forward to continuing this internship in the spring semester!



Kaitlin Hall (no picture available). Sophomore studying Environmental Sciences at the University of Arizona. Interned in an AP Environmental Science class at Pueblo High School.

Katie Spichiger


Hi, my name is Katie Spichiger, and I am a junior studying Business. This past semester I worked with 8th graders at Mansfeld Middle School. This internship opened my mind to the realm of science and teaching. I enjoyed my time getting to know my students and the faculty involved with the program.



Madison Beal


My name is Madison Beal, and I am a senior studying Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies. I am very passionate about science and education, so the Bio/Diversity Project was a perfect fit for me. I got to work with 4th and 5th grade students at Rio Vista Elementary School and had so much fun helping them learn about biodiversity and how amazing the Sonoran Desert is. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity and hope to continue participating in science outreach and education in the future!


Madison Fenicle


My name is Madison Fenicle, and I am a senior at the University of Arizona studying Psychology. This semester I taught at Tully Elementary School, where I worked with three 3rd grade classrooms. My goal for this semester was not only to teach students about biodiversity but to get them excited about science. Their progress from the beginning to the end of the semester was great to see, and I'm so glad I was able to teach them about the biodiversity of the Sonoran Desert.



Meet the Spring 2017 Bio/Diversity Project Interns!


Alex Wolfe


My name is Alex Wolfe and I’m a senior at the University of Arizona, graduating this May. After graduation, I intend to pursue a career in environmental education with dreams of being the next Crocodile Hunter. This summer I’ll be working as an educator at the Reid Park Zoo, leading summer camps and sharing my love for wildlife.




Bitty Fennie


My name is Bitty Fennie, I'm a junior studying Conservation Biology here at the University of Arizona! I'm a local Tucsonan and I love teaching kids about science and getting them excited about the world around them! After this internship, I intend to continue pursuing science outreach and education here in Tucson. This summer I will be an intern at Saguaro National Park West, in the Environmental Education Department, and I cannot wait!



Jordan Camp


My name is Jordan Camp and I’m a junior majoring in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Biology. This semester, I was given the opportunity to assist in a freshman class at Tucson High Magnet School with Jeremy Jonas, and also co-taught multiple periods of 8th graders at Roberts-Naylor K-8 School with Liz Engler. This internship helped me grow in my career readiness and networking skills. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had this semester with the WISE Bio/Diversity internship program.



Julia Jones


My name is Julia and I study Environmental Science with a concentration in Land, Air, and Water at the University of Arizona. As an intern, I worked at Roberts-Naylor K-8 School with 7th and 8th grade students. I worked with my peers to create inquiry based lessons on biodiversity. Over the course of the semester my goal was to not only teach biodiversity to my students but to foster a sense of ownership in their work to establish a connection between doing science and being a scientist. Through the Bio/Diversity Project, I was given the amazing opportunity to work as a Natural Resource Intern for Saguaro National Park this summer!



Kali Richardson


My name is Kali Richardson and I’m majoring in Wildlife Management. This semester I worked with 2nd grade and 7th grade at Booth-Fickett K-8 School. I taught about the basic services of biodiversity (regulating, cultural, and provisioning) as well as the variety of ways that science can be used in society.




Lauren Olson


My name is Lauren Olson and I’m a Computer Science and Philosophy major at the University of Arizona. I’ve always been interested bringing attention to the importance of diversity and environmental science and this internship was a perfect vehicle for both of those interests. This internship was an opportunity to be an intimate player in that process as its goal is to increase the diversity of people in the sciences by promoting different images of scientists. Walking away from this experience, I am confident that more young people who would not have seen themselves as capable of being scientists, now are. 



Lianne Evans


I'm Lianne Evans, a freshman Biosystems Engineering student. I worked with Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and middle school students. I hope that through the Bio/Diversity Project I was able to help awaken the scientist and engineer in as many students as possible!





Marsha Colbert

Hi, I’m Marsha and I participated in the Bio/Diversity Project as a non-degree seeking graduate student. Growing up in South Florida, formative trips to wade in the shallows of the Florida Keys and to slog in the tea-stained waters of the Everglades’ River of Grass led to my passion for experiential environmental education. I want to pass on my love of exploring nature by inciting students of all ages to discover the natural wonders of Southern Arizona and beyond. Exploring the multitudinous aspects of biodiversity with middle school students and my fellow interns and teachers this semester has shaken me out of my comfort zone to be more organized, collaborative, and creative. Bioblitz, everyone!


Mira Theilmann


My name is Mira Theilmann and I am a sophomore studying Environmental Science in the Honors College. I worked with 8th grade students at Mansfeld Middle School and was particularly excited to use photography and creative writing to teach environmental science. I enjoy being able to encourage and support the future scientists of this generation!




Tiffani Cáñez


My name is Tiffani Cáñez and I’m a Hydrology major. During the spring 2017 semester I had the opportunity to work at Mansfeld Middle School and Tucson High Magnet School. Before this internship if someone would’ve asked me if I ever saw myself teaching, my answer would have been definitely not! I speak extremely fast and have very little patience, but I knew that I enjoyed working with younger students, so I decided to give this program a try. I learned a lot from being a member of this project but if I had to choose one thing, I would say this program taught me how to adapt; adapt what I was learning into a lesson for my students, adapt from working individually to working efficiently in a group, adapt the speed with which I talk, and finally adapt my patience.


Scout Ahern

Hi I am Scout Ahern! I am a senior studying Environmental Science and I will be graduating in spring 2017. I have had an awesome time working as an intern for the Bio/Diversity Project! I have enjoyed working with K-12 students in the classroom and teaching them all about biodiversity and environmental science. One of my favorite activities that I did with my 3rd grade class was to have them do a report on a scientist and create a small figurine of their scientist. The scientists we chose for them were those from underrepresented groups in the STEM fields: women, minorities, those with disabilities, etc. It was a fun project for them and it was great to see what they came up with and learned from it! I will likely pursue a career in science outreach as a result of interning for the Bio/Diversity Project!