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, our staff works closely with interns to develop enriching field experiences and career-building opportunities. 

Interns can develop expertise in several conservation fields:

Co-lead school field trips and summer camps, and develop hands-on activities. Monitor lagoon water quality, generating data relied on for lagoon restoration. Restore and maintain trails; removing graffiti, bench and fence repairs, leading youth on-trail. Get dirty in San Elijo Nursery with native seed collection and plant growth.

Interns are mentored by conservancy professionals in the fields of science and environmental educationFor more than 20 years, the conservancy has supported many interns who have achieved advanced degrees in the field of life sciences.  

Over the past two decades we have supported many students who have moved on to completing higher degrees or secured a career position in the fields of life science, and environmental education.  As we continue to grow as an organization, we are shining a new light on the importance of mentoring.

Find out more & apply!


Weston Manor
Water Quality
Weston is a Carlsbad native that recently graduated in December 2015, receiving his B.S. in Mathematics/Sciences and a minor in Geology from the University of Wyoming. His main goal is devoting himself to restoring watersheds and water quality while inspiring others to do the same. He hopes to gain knowledge while interning at the conservancy and experience in water quality for future purposes in the environmental field. His hobbies outside of environmental work are surfing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, and just lounging around.
Erin Stone
Conservation Education
Erin began interning with SELC during the summer of 2014, and is happy be back (summer 2016) after completing her B.A. in Environmental Studies at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. She has a passion for environmental and conservation education, and hopes to pass along her love and care for the environment through her work as an educator. Erin was born and raised in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and is excited to teach children and families about the wonderful ecosystems she has grown up loving. In her free time, you’ll find Erin reading, hiking, backpacking, listening to opera, and baking cookies.
Andrea Cornelius
Annie's Canyon Trail
Andrea is currently attending CSU San Marcos where she is pursuing a BA in Environmental Studies. She is a San Diego native who loves the local oceans and lagoons and studying coastal environments. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, dancing, running with her dog, and spending time with friends and family. Andrea is excited to help monitor the brand new Annie’s Canyon trail and learn more about the San Elijo ecosystem and how to protect it.
Henry Markell
Annie's Canyon Trail
Henry is an eighteen year Cardiff resident and also, our first ever high school student intern from La Costa Canyon High School. He has been volunteering at the lagoon for the duration of this year and looks forward to learning through the new trail cameras and the conservation of Annie's Canyon Trail. He has been inspired by places of natural beauty, like the lagoon, to pursue his college commitment with focus on environmental studies. Henry looks to be a representative of the youth generations environmental consciousness.
Gianni Denson
Annie's Canyon Trail
Gianni is a fifteen year old sophomore at San Dieguito Academy and third generation Californian. As the youngest and newest member of the conservation team, he hopes to experience hands on lagoon water 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 enjoys playing beach volleyball and will be on the SDA varsity volleyball team this year. He is forming his goals in science, and is excited to learn more as he helps care for our long loved lagoon.
Chase Clark
Habitat Management
Chase is entering his senior year at Cal State San Marcos where he is pursing a B.A in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Geography. He has a growing passion for ecology and enjoys watching his impact transform different areas around the lagoon, whether it is removing invasive species, working in the nursery, or processing seeds. In his spare time, you can find him kayaking, hiking, or playing for the CSUSM's Men's Lacrosse team as the goalie. After he graduates, Chase aspires to become a park ranger for the County of San Diego or for the State of California.
Jeannette Lizarraga
Habitat Management
Jeannette has lived in San Diego County her entire life and is interested in pursuing a double major in Environmental Policy Analysis & Planning and Sustainable Environmental Design. Jeannette is looking forward to learning the fundamentals of a non-profit organization and the importance of restoration, preservation, and education of our fragile coastal wetlands. She also enjoys photography, gardening, biking and hiking..
Alex Walsh
Land Management 
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Alex moved out to San Diego five years ago where he began an interest in restoration ecology while interning at the San Diego River Park Foundation. He will be entering his senior year at San Diego State University with a major in environmental science and minor in international studies. Alex is really enjoying helping out the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy through the land management program and would like to continue along the same line of environmental work. His hobbies include skateboarding, biking, swimming, and hiking.