Students Gain Professional Experience at TRLC

August 10, 2019

College students Kelly Eakes and Tommy Fairbairn completed 12-week professional internships with Tar River Land Conservancy (TRLC) in August 2019.  Ms. Eakes and Mr. Fairbairn, who are juniors at NC State University, were selected for the summer internships following a competitive application and interview process. 

Ms. Eakes and Mr. Fairbairn have balanced time in the field and the office during their time with TRLC.  Their duties have included visiting dozens of the TRLC’s protected properties located across an eight-county region.  Additional projects have included working with volunteer groups to build trails and clean up conservation land, re-organizing and digitizing TRLC’s historical records of inquiries from landowners interested in conservation options, and assisting with events and outings for TRLC members and the community.

Tommy Fairbairn

“Kelly and Tommy have been valuable members of TRLC’s team for the last several months,” said Derek Halberg, TRLC Executive Director. “They’ve gained valuable experience and training at the same time that they’ve completed important projects for us.  Kelly and Tommy are preparing themselves to excel in their careers after college.”

Kelly Eakes

Ms. Eakes is a 2017 graduate of South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, NC.  She is majoring in Environmental Technology and Management at NC State.  She is active in NC State Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.  Mr. Fairbairn is a 2017 graduate of Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, SC.  He is majoring in Environmental Science at NC State.  Mr. Fairbairn is a volunteer leader for Young Life Ministries supporting students at Cary High School.                        

Since 2002, Tar River Land Conservancy has offered summer internships to one or more college students working towards degrees in natural resources management, forestry, agriculture, wildlife management or a related discipline.  To receive future internship announcements, please send an email with your name and contact information to