Meet the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee's 2023 interns!

Nathaniel Ashford - Storm Surge Monitoring Program Coordinator

Nathaniel Ashford is a marine conservationist, currently taking a gap year before planning to pursue an engineering degree in college. Nathaniel’s gap year led him to adventures in the outbacks of Australia, roadtrips across the deserts of the southwest US, and exploits on his guitar as the lead guitarist in the local rock band, Boderus.

Growing up as a sailor, Nathaniel developed a unique passion for the ocean and its inhabitants. Getting the opportunity to swim with sharks and dolphins captured his curiosity, and sailing between the Hawaiian islands scratched the itch for adventure. So when the opportunity to intern with the Jefferson County MRC presented itself, he was instantly onboard. 

Over the past 3 years, Nathaniel and his robotics team, the Sea Dragons, have been working closely with the MRC, as part of a collaborative project to remove derelict fishing gear and lost crab pots in local waterways. Now, he plans on bringing his field experience, data management skills, and love of all things oceanic to the role of the Storm Surge Monitoring Program Coordinator with the MRC.

Nathaniel has enjoyed the mentorship and support of his community as well as that of the members of the Jefferson County MRC, and he hopes to inspire marine stewardship in others while participating in this internship.

Amelia Kalagher - MRC Program Assistant

Amelia is a junior studying environmental science at Western Washington University, specializing in marine ecology. Amelia was drawn to the Jefferson County MRC because she’s passionate about preserving marine habitats and promoting local conservation efforts. She made the big move from Massachusetts to Port Angeles in early 2022 and quickly fell in love with the breathtaking beauty of the Olympic Peninsula.

After spending four years as a supply chain professional, Amelia is thrilled to be back pursuing her true passion for marine science and conservation work. In addition to her MRC internship, she also works part-time as an intern for the Coastal Watershed Institute and volunteers regularly at the Feiro Marine Life Center in Port Angeles. On her days off, Amelia enjoys hiking, snorkeling and exploring tide pools. As an MRC intern in 2023, she hopes to contribute to project and data management and learn as much as she can from the experienced staff, dedicated volunteers, and the amazing local community.

Ally Galiotto - Crabber Outreach Coordinator

Ally joined the MRC as the Crabber Outreach Coordinator intern to help connect with and educate recreational crabbers across the region. She also works as the Assistant Program Coordinator of the Pacific Northwest Crab Research Group. She is passionate about marine conservation and sustainable fisheries management, and recently earned a BS in Marine Biology and BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, birdwatching, baking, and hanging out with her cats. 

Isabelle Jones - Rain Garden Community Coordinator

As the Rain Garden Community Coordinator intern, Isabelle is working with MRC members and the broader community to encourage engagement in local rain gardens around Port Townsend and the surrounding area. She is a Junior—soon to be Senior—at WWU Poulsbo Extension, working on a degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Science.

From Shoreline, Isabelle grew up in the woods, foraging for mushrooms and helping her parents around the garden. As she's grown up, she's continued to foster a love for the PNW, taking particular interest in ocean acidification in the Puget Sound and issues surrounding runoff water. She is hoping that this internship will help cultivate an appreciation for native plants and the important role that community plays in stewarding them.