We had so many strong applicants for our Fred E. Ellis Summer Internship that we just had to choose two of them. Starting as our interns on June 26 are Kearstin Williams and Maggie Mackinlay …


Kearstin Williams is a senior and graduating this year from the University of Washington College of the Environment studying Environmental Science and Resource Management. As a volunteer with various college organizations (including her UW women’s rugby club), she has acquired experience in nonprofit fundraising, event planning, and outreach. She further honed those skills this past year as a philanthropy intern at the Washington Wildlife Recreation Coalition (WWRC).

“Our goal at the WWRC is to conserve land for wildlife and habitat use, similar to the mission of the San Juan Preservation Trust.”

Kearstin has enjoyed hiking and exploring the San Juans. Because of this experience, she says, “I understand first-hand now important the islands can be as a learning asset.”

Maggie Mackinlay will be graduating from Colorado College in 2018 with a major in Organismal Biology and Ecology, focusing on biology, ecology, organic chemistry, and environmental science. “One of my main interests,” she says, “is how ecosystems respond to climate change.”

Last summer, she did field research for a study led by one of her college professors. She used satellite images and GIS (Geographic Information System technology) to map all Coloradan wildfires since 1985 and determine the statistical interconnections between factors like fire intensity, vegetation type, and amount of precipitation.

“I feel passionately about the preservation of the San Juan Islands,” she says, “as I’ve spent summers there since I was little.” She is on the cross-country ski team and is a rower, writer, and artist.

We welcome Kearstin and Maggie and look forward to working with them!