Lannette Rangel at Patuxent Research Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge Association’s Conservation Intern, Lannette Rangel, standing in front of Cash Lake at Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Maryland
Hello wonderful Refuge Association supporters!
My name is Lannette, and I’ve been interning with the National Wildlife Refuge Association this summer. I am a Masters of Environmental Management candidate at Duke University, focusing my studies in Environmental Policy and Economics. Duke’s Stanback Fellowship program brought me to DC this summer, providing me with the opportunity to apply my passions for wildlife conservation, political advocacy, and communications to furthering the mission of the Refuge Association.
Throughout the summer I have gained experience in the communications space- from compiling language for the Association’s new and improved website, to learning how social media can be a powerful advocacy tool, as well as creating compelling stories and visuals to raise awareness of the Trump administration’s most recent attacks on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Thank you to those who read my story and donated to our efforts as a result- your support means the world! It’s incredible to see how this work can help amplify all of your voices on behalf of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
To wrap up my experience, I’m finishing up my summer project-a report The Refuge Association is compiling in partnership with Defenders of Wildlife. The report will highlight how collaboration between the National Wildlife Refuge System and external stakeholders is bolstering recovery efforts of Threatened and Endangered species on and around refuge lands. I’ve interviewed refuge managers and wildlife biologists from across the country to learn more about the work being done on refuges to protect America’s most vulnerable wildlife. Hearing their passion for relatively unknown and underappreciated species like the Iowa Pleistocene Snail and the Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle gives me so much hope for the future of wildlife conservation.
Beyond communications work, I have also attended Congressional hearings on Capitol Hill! I’ve witnessed our Members of Congress, scientists, and field experts discuss issues that pertain to our nation’s public land- from how climate change is already impacting our landscapes, and how federal agencies intend to address and mitigate its effects.
Outside of work, I have been trying to soak up as much of DC as I can! I’ve spent plenty of time at the National Zoo (because of course), museums, the National Mall, and been involved in the DC activist community. I absolutely love this city, humidity and all, and hope I can return once I finish my masters program to dedicate myself to wildlife conservation in an even bigger way. As a fellow champion for wildlife, I would like to thank you all again for your continued support of the world’s largest network of conservation lands dedicated to wildlife conservation- the National Wildlife Refuge System. We couldn’t do this work without you!