Allie and Emily served their first day as AmeriCorps members at Sierra Streams Institute on September 23rd! They are excited to get to know our amazing network of supporters and volunteers so, they figured they would start with a brief introduction:
Allison Hacker has a well rounded background in biology, environmental work, and education, but also has a passionate drive to “learn it all!” Originally from the California Bay area, she sought to embark outside her home state to attend college in Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor’s in Biology, but realized during her senior research project which was working with fruit flies genetics in the evolutionary development lab that she was less interested in molecular biology than environmental science. Allison continued to build her experience across the country, working as an educator in a nature center in Minnesota, studying pollinators in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and collecting ecological data with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) in Wisconsin. She is excited to continue to learn and diversify her knowledge in river science, curriculum development, the Sierra Nevadas, and our local nonprofits during her time at Sierra Streams Institute as a River Scientist and Education Coordinator!
Emily Feng is our lovely new River Scientist! She is passionate about botany and using scientific research to improve the world around her. Emily is a Rhode Island native and attended the University of Vermont where she studied wildlife biology and natural resource ecology. Emily has a broad range of experience in ecology and environmental issues, including working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on habitat restoration and Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change to collect baseline forest data. She has also conducted research into the genetic diversity of fiddlehead ostrich ferns in New England forests and educated students about the ecology of Lake Champlain. This year, Emily is looking forward to gaining experience in all aspects of river science and restoration, but she is particularly excited to dive into data analysis. She is also hopes to get to know the native flora and fauna, learn about local environmental issues, work with the community and explore all that the Sierras have to offer!
If you could have a “mundane” superpower, what would it be?
A: Due to the stresses of parking, Allison would have the ability to shrink her car to pocket-size storage while it wasn’t in use. She would also like to have intrinsic knowledge of which plants were edible so she could forage in the woods and have super knowledge of computers.
E: Emily would have the ability to “taste” the air like a snake so she could walk into a bakery and taste all the pastries on display without actually having to buy and eat them. She also wishes she had the power to never get lost.
What’s your favorite body of water?
A: Allison fell in love with Lake Superior during her time in Minnesota working at a nature center. She was amazed by it’s sheer size and beauty. She spent most of her free time swimming and biking around the lake and has a fond memory of catching a meteor shower at the water’s edge one night.
E: Some of Emily’s favorite memories from college were catching sunsets across Lake Champlain in Vermont. She was also amazed by it’s enormous size and the mountain views that accompanied it on both sides. One of her favorite pastimes was biking over the water across the causeway that stretched from the mainland to the Champlain Islands where abundant apple orchards sold excellent cider donuts.