Shira Stahl

Shira Stahl BA ?24

Pronouns

she/her

Degree and Class Year

BA ’24

Hometown

Vashon Island, Washington

Major

Environmental Studies

Internship

Intern with Salmon Valley Stewardship

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Creative, Dedicated, Support

Where did you intern this summer?

Salmon Valley Stewardship in Salmon, Idaho.

What did you do at your internship?

For a portion of the time, I worked on Swift River Farm, learning the ins and outs of organic farming and local food production. I helped with planting, harvesting, weeding, building fences, etc. What a joy it was to work with plants and learn each of their personalities and habits. I also learned a lot about pollinators and native plants. I took an invasive weeds identification class; monitored milkweed and monarch populations; worked in the field monitoring riparian areas and identifying plants; held a booth at the farmers market teaching passersby about pollinators; led pollinator trivia; worked on a project creating QR codes for a pollinator garden explaining qualities of plants in the garden and how to grow them. A large part of my time was also spent on my personal research project. I researched the feasibility of building structures to house future Salmon Valley Stewardship seasonal workers. Salmon has a pretty devastating housing shortage, and every year it is difficult for my supervisor to find housing for seasonals. I researched different potential cost-effective structures; interviewed landowners who may be interested in hosting a “village” of employees; met with the Planning and Building department to research legalities; devised “tentative plans” for each landowner; and created an estimated maximum and minimum cost for each plan.

How did Lewis & Clark’s Career Center support you in finding, securing, and/or funding your internship?

I found and secured the internship, but the Career Center helped support me as I applied for the L&C Economics Internship Fund. I met with Nina a few times to review my application and answer questions regarding the process. It was an unpaid internship, so I really appreciated the help with funding.

What’s your biggest takeaway from your internship?

I learned the power of a small connected community. It felt really incredible and inspiring to witness the passion and variety of projects happening within Salmon. It felt tangible, and visions can become reality with the dedication of some driven people. Sometimes I think in bigger cities, it can be difficult to know where to start with projects, and there is certainly a lesser sense of community interconnection and support. I loved experiencing this because it’s very satisfying to actually see visions coming to life, rather than feeling overwhelmed with the large scale of a big city.

How is this internship connected to your career goals and/or future aspirations?

I have always generally been interested in food systems, but the farming portion of the internship really solidified my passion. In the future, I hope to continue learning about the relationship between humans and food, agriculture and climate change, waste, food security, and justice. What’s more, this summer I met a woman named Kelly who was working on a project surveying local food systems in Salmon. She works as a consultant, which entails a variety of projects for rural communities centered around issues such as real estate, food systems, and conservation. I met with her via Zoom recently and asked questions about what she does. It is connections like this that I made in Salmon which will greatly impact my future; I may even work for Kelly next summer or after graduation!

Career Center