Sage Environmental Leadership Program




“It is natural to protect what we love. To fall in love with nature, 
we need the personal connection of our senses—we need to be physically involved.” 

—Ann Dunne, Founder of Sage Environmental Internship Program

How does a college student, or recent graduate, build a resume? Internships are invaluable. At San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, we work closely with interns to develop enriching field experiences and career-building opportunities. 

Interns can develop expertise in several conservation fields including: Conservation Education, Land Management, Community Habitat Restoration, Trail Monitoring, and Water Quality.

Interns are mentored by conservancy professionals in the fields of science and environmental education. For more than 20 years, the conservancy has supported interns who have moved on to completing higher degrees or secured a career position in the fields of life science and environmental education.  

Interested in joining our 2018/2019 Sage Environmental Leadership Program?


Gianni Denson
2016 | 2017 | 2018 Trail Monitoring
Gianni attends San Dieguito Academy and is a third-generation Californian. Giannni hopes to experience hands-on lagoon water quality and fish monitoring, and to be of service for years to come. He is a passionate surfer, diver and fisherman, closely connecting him to the ocean and watershed. He is forming his goals in a science career, and is excited to learn more as he helps care for his beloved wetland. 



Alison Fretwell
2018 Water Quality

Alison is a water quality intern for the conservancy, as well as a civil engineering student at University of North Dakota. Since she wants to focus her degree on clean water, Alison is grateful to have this opportunity to learn. She grew up around Carlsbad’s Batiquitos Lagoon and local beaches. Spending professional career-building experiences at the water’s edge is a dream come true for Alison. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, surfing, snowboarding and hiking around the county.


Matthew Leonard
2018 Native Habitat Restoration | Water Quality | Land Management
Matthew graduated with an Environmental Studies degree from CSU San Marcos. In school, he served as a founding officer of the Environmental Studies club with a mission to connect students with local environmental professionals. Matthew is a longtime trail enthusiast, counting backpacking, cycling and exploring California among his hobbies. In his spare time, he studies computer programming and volunteers also at Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve.
Ian Moffit
2018 Trail Monitoring
Ian earned a B.S. in Ecology and Biodiversity from University of Denver in 2017. He graduated with an honors thesis regarding Tamarix management strategies and effects on the reproductive success of the Aouthwestern Willow Flycatcher. Ian has previous experience working for environmental nonprofits as he interned with the Mountain Area Land Trust based in Evergreen, Colorado during the 2017 summer. In his free time, Ian enjoys snowboarding, fly fishing and wildlife photography.
Madelyn Roycroft
2018 Native Habitat Restoration
Madelyn finished her Master’s in Biological Sciences at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in June 2018. Her undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences is from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has extensive experience in estuarine, coastal and marine ecology through her education and work experiences in Florida, North Carolina and the Caribbean.In her internship, Madelyn desires to become proficient in the identification of Southern California native plant species, habitat restoration techniques and GIS skills. In her free time she enjoys diving, surfing and baking sourdough bread.