EPCAMR brings on Haley Giannone as Summer Watershed Outreach Intern

Haley was born and raised in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, and currently resides in White Haven. She attends Bloomsburg University and will be a Senior this Fall, graduating in January 2016 with a Bachelors of Science in Geography and Planning. She grew up in and around rivers; paddling, camping, hiking, and essentially doing anything outdoors. She was raised to have a love and respect for the natural environment and has always had a desire to protect and restore nature. Through her experiences canoeing, rafting, and kayaking, she has been exposed to the multitude of impacts humans have on rivers. Haley goes on to say, “As a river guide and local on the Lehigh River, I am constantly learning about the impacts mining has had on the land, water, and both human and nonhuman communities in and around mineral resource extraction. Paddling rivers impacted by abandoned mine drainage (AMD) such as the Stonycreek, Cheat, and Nescopeck has allowed me to see firsthand its deleterious effects.”

Haley Gionnone, EPCAMR's newest Summer Watershed Outreach Specialist Intern for 2015.

Haley, EPCAMR’s newest Summer Watershed Outreach Intern

“Learning about mining and AMD in college, as well as seeing it in person, made me want to take part in something that sought to remediate the areas impacted by it. I also feel that, as a native of Pennsylvania, I have somewhat of a responsibility and need to help mend the problems the inhabitants of the past created. So when I had to choose a place to intern for my major, I wanted to pick a place that was taking environmental action and making long-term watershed impacts that were positive. This summer I am hoping to gain a lot of experience in AMD reclamation with EPCAMR, to learn how nonprofit organizations operate, provide technical assistance, and educate communities that are impacted, as well as get my hands dirty working on abandoned mine reclamation and remediation projects with the EPCAMR Staff.”

As for her future plans, Haley states, “I would like to work for an environmental organization either in ornithology, river restoration, trail system creations, or all three! I would also like to become a certified yoga instructor and go for a masters or certificate in ecosystems ecology, watershed science, ornithology, or animal behavior. In my free time I enjoy mountain biking, bouldering and climbing, whitewater kayaking, bird watching hikes, and being outside as much as I can.”

EPCAMR is glad to have Haley on board for a full 13 weeks of the Summer, nearly full-time, for academic credit at BU. Haley is certified in Wilderness and Remote First Aid, CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Healthcare Provider, administered by the American Red Cross; certifications that are beneficial to an organization like EPCAMR. She is an Assistant Instructor for Quest at BU, where she manages boating equipment and provides instruction in whitewater rafting, kayaking, and climbing courses.

Haley’s experience at Whitewater Challengers on the Lehigh River gives her great insight into the impacts that AMD has had on the Upper Lehigh and Nesquehoning Creek; it’s not unfamiliar to her. Her experience in rafting and kayaking will also come in handy with excursions that EPCAMR Staff goes on that involves getting into the waterways that are impacted for sampling mine drainage with students. She knows the importance of safety, fitting gear, and can answer questions about the sport and recreational aspects of boating. She is also very knowledgeable about the history of the Lehigh River, including its mining history and connection to the Eastern Middle Anthracite Coalfield in lower Luzerne County. She also knows about the mining impacts in Panther Valley and areas surrounding Summit Hill, Jim Thorpe, and White Haven. However, the large volumes of AMD Haley will see during her internship and the extent of the damage to abandoned mine lands across multiple watersheds throughout Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania may be a bit overwhelming for her. This internship will give her the opportunity to see areas she has not seen before and will allow her to work with the EPCAMR Staff on how to best address these problems, secure funds, and build capacity within the mining-impacted communities to restore the watersheds in their hometowns.

Welcome to EPCAMR, Haley!

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