Aleah Wong is a rising senior majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies at Macalester College. Her project with the Conservancy this semester is to develop recommendations and identify partnerships for environmental education and citizen science projects in Swede Hollow Park.

A major element of the Swede Hollow Park Master Plan is to restore water flow to Phalen Creek for the enjoyment and education of the community, as well as for the health of the ecosystem in the park. And Aleah knows a great deal about water ecology of all kinds!

Last summer Aleah interned with Hopkins Marine Station through the Monterey Bay Regional Ocean Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. researching lobster population distributions in Baja, CA to create sustainability recommendations for small-scale fisheries.

As a volunteer through the Seattle Aquarium’s Youth Ocean Advocates program, Aleah educated guests of all ages about marine organisms and marine ecosystem conservation to inspire curiosity and action. This included answering questions, running educational activities and participating in continuing education workshops related to constantly changing exhibits.

During her internship with the Keil Lab at the University of Washington School of Oceanography, Aleah conducted research on common household chemicals found as pollutants in Puget Sound. She collected samples aboard a research vessel using a CTD instrument and analyzed data using a GC-MS in the lab. Her research culminated in a presentation to a general audience using accessible and concise language.

As a consultant for the Environmental Defense Fund’s climate storytelling project, Aleah engaged in community outreach to recruit individuals to share their experiences with climate change and climate/environmental activism. She interviewed people, wrote their stories and advised others’ own writing processes. Additionally, she managed the project website, which she also designed and built.

Aleah has also coordinated a citizen science project to monitor water flow, which could be a great engagement effort around efforts to restore the water level in Phalen Creek that flows through Swede Hollow Park. Welcome Aleah, we look forward to working with you!