Fellows - Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River


Each center in the Alliance for Watershed Education hosts a fellow for twelve weeks during the summer. The program aims to increase engagement and action toward protecting and restoring the Delaware River Watershed. Fellowship activities vary, but some fellowships involve leading guided trail hikes, working on a riverfront dock, and biking with a “Mobile Nature Center” to engage with visitors to environmental centers. Fellowships culminate in a Capstone Summit where each Fellow presents his or her research, findings, and experiences.

Read more about the inaugural group of Fellows below:

Class of


Alexa Messick

Alexa Messick enjoyed being outdoors as a child, especially when she could drive herself to Bombay Hook. Her passion for sharing nature appreciation will help her develop outreach strategies at The Nature Conservancy and First State National Historical Park.

Anaïs Martinez

Anaïs Martinez spent time hiking and visiting rivers, beaches and parks in her native Puerto Rico. She is confident that her communication skills will help determine why people don’t visit parks and how to change that.

Cedric Lary

Cedric Lary attended outdoor summer camps growing up in Ewing and became interested in nature as a volunteer at Baldpate Mountain. He plans to become an astrobiology professor.

Courtney Kovacs

Courtney Kovacs visited playgrounds and parks as a child, but she is excited to become more “outdoorsy” through this fellowship. She hopes to eventually visit all the centers in the Alliance.

Daisy De Paz

Daisy De Paz grew up in Trenton, but only visited parks outside of the city. She is excited to learn more about freshwater fish while interpreting the river for visitors to the Camden Waterfront.

Dakin Hewlett

Dakin Hewlett gained an appreciation for nature while hiking part of the Appalachian Trail; her English degree will help her engage audiences on the Riverfront in Wilmington.

Devon Mahallati

Devon Mahallati grew up hiking and biking in the Pinelands. She plans to improve access from the Schuylkill River Trail and believes her canvassing background will help her engage with trail users.

Elizet Moralez-Perez

Elizet Moralez-Perez was not strongly connected to nature during her childhood in the Trenton area, but her continual desire to learn will help her identify plants and birds on the trails as she leads guided hikes.

Jack Braunstein

Jack Braunstein grew up walking his dogs along the Cooper River, and is interested in researching community engagement in the watershed. His analytical skills will help him determine barriers to accessing nature in Camden County.

Jess Kraus

Jess Kraus fished, hiked and visited parks as a child. She is excited to work with the Heritage Conservancy to connect people with nature, and plans to pursue a career in environmental law or land conservation management.

Joanne Douglas

Joanne Douglas considers herself a city girl who always seeks out an oasis in the natural world. She is excited to engage student interns in learning about and appreciating the waterways, and exhibiting their work in a creative way.

Jordan Hines

Jordan Hines was encouraged to play outside during his childhood in a Reading suburb, including visiting Angelica Park where he is now a Fellow. He hopes to encourage visitors to find something in nature that appeals to them.

Joshua Pringle

Joshua Pringle data analysis background will help him support environmental education programs & interactive teaching methods at this education outreach center for the Philadelphia Water Department.

Kayin Bankole

Kayin Bankole visited John Heinz often as a child growing up in South Philly. His father instilled in him an appreciation of nature, and he hopes to use that and his communications skills to lead groups in the refuge’s marsh.

Marcus Burrell

Marcus Burrell has a history of volunteering to clean up his communities of Chesilhurst, NJ, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He is looking forward to team building & conducting walkability studies in the Cooper River watershed.

Marissa Wolfe

Marissa Wolfe grew up taking vacations that always centered around water, which led her to study Marine Affairs. She looks forward to teaching people how to positively impact the watershed.

Nagiarry Porcena-Meneus

Nagiarry Porcena-Meneus grew up in the natural, wild beauty of Haiti. Her interest in people, places, and life has inspired her goal of publishing her book about parent-child relationships.

Nahida Rahman

Nahida Rahman hopes to become a “person of nature” during her fellowship. Her experience in hospitality and her interpersonal skills will serve her well as she engages with the community on the docks at the Independence Seaport Museum.

Ngoc Kim

Ngoc Kim enjoyed Biology courses in college, which led her to pursue a Biology/Ecology degree. She enjoys working with kids and thinks her recent Ornithology course will be beneficial during her fellowship at John James Audubon at Mill Grove.

Rachel Hess

Rachel Hess didn’t spend much time in nature growing up in suburban Harrisburg. She is eager to lead trail hikes during her fellowship, and hopes to pursue a career in environmental communications.

Samantha Walters

Samantha Walters spent her childhood on the Schuylkill and the Perkiomen; her time-management and public speaking skills will be valuable when talking about water quality and engagement on the Schuylkill River Trail.

Thomas Doyle

Thomas Doyle swam in rivers, visited parks, and played in the woods as a child. He hopes to use his expertise in fixing bikes to improve people’s experiences on the trails.

Tykee James

Tykee James became interested in observing nature by stargazing. He believes that the many obstacles between people and nature can be overcome by educating for the public good to create generational value.