Community Projects

Interactive Map of Projects  |  List of Projects  |  Potential Projects

Students accepted to the NRCA Conservation Ambassador Program will work with the program coordinator to develop a project and connect with a community partner who will help facilitate and guide the student's project to completion. Community partners are typically volunteer community decision makers or conservation leaders on planning, zoning, conservation and wetlands commissions, and serving on land trust boards.

Projects can include working with a conservation commission on an update of the town open space plan; representing the town in a multi-town watershed project; working with the local land trust to protect and more wisely conserve land using GPS and GIS technology; assessing the suitability of a site for proposed development as well as its potential environmental consequences; and many others. Upon completing the intensive week-long field experience at UConn, followed by their community project activities, students will submit their community projects in order to graduate from the program and be formally recognized as Connecticut Conservation Ambassadors.

Learn more about the detailed schedule of the community project on the For Students page.

Conservation Ambassador Program Projects

The Conservation Ambassador Program (CAP) is making a difference across Connecticut. Below is an interactive map showing the location of local conservation projects from the Conservation Ambassador Program. Click on a dot for more information about the students, local partners and projects.


List of Projects

2019-2020  Student Community Projects

Warren Bacchus: Learning the Secrets of the Cicindelidae Anna Lichtenberg: Water Quality of Holly Pond
Christina Beaulieu: Comparative Study of Water Chemistry in Reservoir Brook Nicholas Liu: Restoration of Meadows in Darien, CT
Christopher Brooks: Bat Activity in Natural Canopy Gaps Evelyn Marchand: Invasive Earthworm Impact on Red-backed Salamanders
Adelle Clark: Phenology: Our History and Future Allison Masthay: Environmental Impact on Ovenbird Song Frequency
Andrew Dombroski; Lance Hansen, CT DEEP: Geological Natural History of Burr Pond State Park Alex Picoult: Advocating for the Removal of Polystyrene from Simsbury School Cafeterias
Dylan Fosberg: Evaluating Radon Presence in Groundwater Seeps in High Radon Potential Zones Jessica Plumitallo: Impact of Nest Flooding on Salt Marsh Sparrow Nesting and Brooding
William Hawes: Survivor Trees and EAB Daniel Pollack: Collection and Measurement of Fairfield Microplastics & the Big Miccroplastic Survey
Julia Horlitz: Using Protists As Biological Indicators of Water Quality Bridget Ruiz: Swift Thinking - Chimney Swift Education
Kush Kataria: Hockanum River Bird Documentation Samantha Wakelee: Recommended Low Impact Development Implementation in the Old Saybrook School District
Luv Kataria: Invasive Species of Crystal Lake Taylor Watson: Exploring and Influencing the Environment in Woodstock
Nathan LaChance: Aquatic Insect Sampling in Glastonbury Amber Tomasino: Exploring Macroinvertebrates at McLean Game Refuge in Granby


2018-2019  Student Community Projects

Ananya Aggarwal: Mapping Prominent Invasive Species at Longo Wild Hill Farm Arianna Kehoe: Introduction to Macroinvertebrates at Avon High School 
Carlos Barrantes: Rain Garden Installation Jillian Mars: Engaging High School Community in the Rain Garden Experience
Haley Bertsch: Water Conservation Habits: Teens and Adults Alex Merinov: Should Batterson Park be Reopened?
Gracie Berthiaume: Exploring Volunteer Accuracy in the RBV Program Hanna Pomaski: What Do Avon High School Students Know About Permaculture and Composting?
Sara Beth Bouchard: The Effects of Nitrogen Species on the Biomass of Spartina alterniflora in a Restored Salt Marsh Emerson Rinehart: Beaver Pond Trail
Faith DiFronzo: Invasive Plant Species Found in the Area Luke Shanahan: Monitoring Wildlife Activity Patterns in Great Hollow Nature Preserve
Victor Flores: Knotweed in Canaan Carter Shannon: Factors Affecting Fishing Quality at the Branford Supply Ponds ?
Idiriya Flowers: Macroinvertebrates Carter Shay: View the Q
Isabelle Hole: Storm Water Runoff in Gorham's Pond Lucie Tuthill: What Kind of Biodiversity Swims at Great Hollow?
Carissa Horton: Developing Tech Materials & Approach for Citizen Science Bat House Monitoring Program Aaron Williams: Alternative Energy Cost Benefit Analysis
Julia Isaacson: Raising Public Awareness of the Wilcox Property  


2017-2018  Student Community Projects

Hannah Auten: Furthering the Education of Conservation Dillon Larkin: The Influence of the Transylvania Brook on the Pomperaug River 
Garret Basiel: Removal of Invasive Plant Species from John Lyman Elementary School Grounds Jeremy Larkin: Success of Wildflowers: Pollination, Germination, and Stratification
Maggie Chafouleas: Nurturing in Nature: Encouraging Kids to Explore the Outdoors Grace McGonagle: Should Common Connecticut Invasive Plants be Used as Biofuels?
Beatrice Dang: Assessing Health of Filley Pond Using Biotic and Chemical Indicators Angie Miranda: Community Engagement Through Stormwater Management
TJ Dombroski: Water Pollution and the Effects on Water Ecosystems Chelsey Reyes: Can Bioswales Effectively Manage Stormwater Runoff in New Haven?
Camryn Florence: Developing School Composting Systems Eric Scheuermann: Spreading Nature Awareness in Wethersfield
Krissy Galgano: The Role of Pollinator Plants in the Improvement of a Restored Site Brooke Tillotson: How Does Water Chemistry Vary Spatially in the Congamond Lake System?
Hayley Gibbs: Distribution of Monarch Butterfly Populations Across Different Land Use Types Gale Ulsamer: Bird Biodiversity of the Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary in Winter
Kelci Gilot: Changes in Plant BIodiversity Due to Saltwater Intrusion Mannat Walia: Encouraging Gardening for All Abilities by Rehabilitating a Seed Table at Pillwillop Therapeutic Farm
Tabby Hardgrove: Falls River Water Quality Monitoring Jennifer Watrous: The Value of Wetlands in the Oxoboxo Brook
Vishal Kumar: Water Quality Changes in the Farmington River  


2016-2017  Student Community Projects

Muhammad Afzaal: Bringing EVs To Connecticut Municipalities Jacob Lawlor: Effects of Drawdown on Wildlife & Water Quality During Hydroelectric Dam Installation 
Madeleine Albee: Large Woody Debris: Influences on Water Quality & Bank Vegetation in the Pomperaug River Jahlyn Lowndes: Trash and Debris in the West River
Emily Alegi: The Effects of Increasing Bear Activity at The Bent of the River Jamie Masthay: Connecticut Bat House Citizen Science Monitoring Program
Amritha Anup: Chlorophyll Levels in Multiflora Roses Throughout the Seasons Nicholas Motmans: Effectiveness of Glyphosate and Triclopyr on Polygonum Cuspidatum Control
Tamara Cheriha: Educating Middle and High School Students About the Importance of Bees Lauren Murtagh: Pervasive Invasives: The Public’s Perception of Invasive Species
Hannah Curran: Less Mowing, More Growing: Mowing Your Lawn Affects Insect Biodiversity Laura Nelson: Youth Environmental Engagement Using Geospatial Technology
Kyle Dolce: When was the Last Time You Took a Hike? Kenechi Nkwo: Use of Food Waste As a Natural Resource
Chloe Hansen: Public Perception & Buying Habits of Locally Grown Food Matteo Onofrio: Getting to Know Our Avian Neighbors
Nora Heaphy: The Effects of Intransitivity on Species Richness and Biomass Production in Basidiomycete Communities Kailee Puzzo: Dispersal of Invasive Aquatic Plants by Public Boat Launches
Amanda Hernandez: Green Infrastructure: Experimental Assessment of Environmental & Economic Benefits in Urban Settings Tessa Rock: Effectiveness of American Beachgrass for Coastline Restoration
Jalyn Johnson: Effects of an Urban Oasis on the Wintergreen Brook Ethan Skuches: The Effects of Storm Runoff on Long Island Sound Dissolved Oxygen Levels
Naieem Kelly: The Benefit of Urban Trees Max Toscano: Composition and Richness of Mesocarnivores Along a Modification Gradient


2015-2016  Student Community Projects

Jenique Blair: Effects of Human Disturbance in Gully Brook Jennifer Lee: How Does Human Development Affect Stream Water Quality?
Annie Brown: Positive Impact of Fishways on Local Fish Populations Alyssa McGurer: Effects of Vegetation Type on Mammalian Activity Patterns
Stanley Chen: Importance of Dissolved Oxygen in the Long Island Sound Victoria O'Malley: Effects of Urbanization on Restored Wetlands
Tianna Felder: Grazing Management Plan for Woodchuck Lane Cameron Parent: Variation in Macroinvertebrate Bioindicators of Water Quality
Emma Gallagher: Re-establishment of Saltwater to Coastal Wetlands Terri Potvin: Chapman Mill Pond Vernal Pool Monitoring Project
Gabriel Gonzalez: Horseshoe Crabs of the Long Island Sound Kylie Ray: Composting for Schools
Chris Goss Jr: Assessing the Health of Two Rivers & Engaging Students
Jacob Renkert: Project Runway: Capturing the Better Side of Macros!
Vanessa Guadalupe: Distribution of Invasive Plants in Urban Areas Natalie Roach: Citizen Opinions of Green Infrastructure in Connecticut
Grace Herde: Plants on the Banks of the Salmon Kill Julia Squillace: Using Geospatial Technology to Map Invasive Plants
Mary Kelly: Avian Communities of Dodge Paddock, Beal Preserve Benjamin Vermilyea: Do Invasive Earthworms Impact Water Quality?
Harold Krause: Comparison of Native and Invasive Chlorophyll Levels Noah Watson: The Effect of Large Woody Debris on Habitat Restoration
Adam LaMothe: Roadside Effects on Invasive Plant Species Distributions Sinclair Worrell-Oliver: The Flounder in the Long Island Sound


2014-2015  Student Community Projects

Shelby Burger: Invasive Species Control and Wood Product Recovery Nathan Kopler: Mountain Lions In Connecticut?
Eve Cullerton: Assessing Restoration Need Based on Fish Diversity Brittany Marson: Restoring Bat Populations One Bat House at a Time
Mari Cullerton: Using Macroinvertebrates to Guide Restoration Maureen McCarthy: Pomperaug River Restoration Awarness 
Jennifer Diaz: Invasive Species Control and Wood Product Recovery Anna Meassick: Providing Habitat for Shrubland Species on the CT Coast
Joshua Fusaro: User-Friendly Field Guides of Kent Fauna Richard Moore: Mapping of Invasive Plant Species for Adaptive Management
Briana Gagnon: The Meriden HUB: From Silver to Gold Naomi Robert: Tree Canopy and Japanese Barberry Effects on Worms
Joshua Goldwag: Effects of Distance from Trails on Bluebird Nesting Megan Ryan: Past and Current Status of Osprey on the Connecticut River
Moises Hernandez: Restoring Bat Populations One Bat House at a Time Sameena Shah: Educating the Public on Invasive Plants
Carson Hill: Green Stormwater Infrastructure Survey Maggie Yeung: Biological Control of Purple Loosestrife
Randy Kaufman: Evaluating Changes in Juvenile Horseshoe Crab Size  


2013-2014  Student Community Projects

Brittany Anderson-Buel: Assessing Culverts for Fish and Animal Passage Elizabeth McGonagle: Importance of Horseshoe Crabs to the LI Sound
Isaiah Araujo: Invasive Species Inventory for Waterbury, CT Lucas Myers: Eightmile River Watershed Baseline Monitoring
Jasmine Beaty: Assessing Culverts for Fish and Animal Passage Alexandria Nista: Bird Habitat Inventory in Hartford's Parks
Natalie Charette: Track-Down Survey of Lyman Meadow Brook Kendale Sheffield: Birds of Skiff Mountain: A Video Series 
Margaret Everett: Bird Inventory using HD Microphone Katie Smith: Trout Brook Water Quality Monitoring
Mackenzie Granger: Impaired Parcel and Water Assessment Emily Sullivan: Repairing the Lake Wonoscopomuc Watershed
Ariana Lee-Wilson: Threats to CT's Bee Populations Christian Umana: Culvert Restoration to Improve Fish Passage
Spencer Lowry: Birds of Skiff Mountain: An Educational Video Series Lina Volin: Climate Change Mitigation Efforts in CT Municipalities


2012-2013  Student Community Projects

Grahm Andruskiewicz: Soil Health and Agriculture Sarah Lueckel: Invasive Species Mapping
Bryn Bachmann: Interactive Trail System for Kids Jenna Lopardo: Street Tree Inventory
Cassandra Blageloo: Using Diatoms to Assess Stream Health Fred Lu: Interpretive Trail System to Highlight Bird Habitat in Kent, CT 
Hunter Browning: Conserving the Wood Duck and Eastern Blue Bird Jessica Petritus: Invasive Species Mapping
Maria Cherry: Scholars in Action Aleah Querns: Monitoring Wildlife Habitat in Brush Piles
Michael Grady: Pests or Pals? Rachel Runkle: Education and Declining Salmon Habitat
Becket Harney: Restoring Native Brook Trout to the Salmon Kill Timothy Volpe: Soils and Road Salt
Caroline Infante: Comparing River Streamflow Using Topography and Bedrock  


Potential Community Projects

Inventories & Research
  • Virtual: use CLEAR ( and other web tools to do community resource inventories or open space inventories
  • Field: conduct an inventory of vegetation, invasive species, wildlife or water resources for a property or set of properties
  • Town hall: search assessor’s records for various information on existing or proposed open space properties or sites of unique habitat value
Environmental Restoration
  • Identify/evaluate restoration or wildlife habitat enhancement opportunities
  • Participate in ongoing restoration activities and wildlife habitat enhacement activities (e.g., invasive plant removal, bat/bird boxes, osprey platforms)
  • Identify and map specimens, critical areas or other special features
Organization & Planning
  • Property management plans
  • Collect information for town farmland protection plan
  • Collect information for town or land trust open space plan
  • Collect information for stream/wetland protection or restoration projects
  • Identify low impact development opportunities
Mapping & Geospatial Technology
  • Map vernal pools
  • Map and mark boundaries of protected property
  • Map other resources or features of interest
  • Organize and give a presentation for town-wide audience
  • Write an educational pamphlet
  • Create/enhance organizational website


The NRCA is a partnership among:
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