Jeanie Lai

Where are you from?

I am from the heart of Baltimore City in Maryland, where you can enjoy an Orioles or Ravens game, be a tourist in the Inner Harbor, and eat Blue Crabs with Old Bay seasoning!

Where do you attend school?

As of May 2018, I obtained my Master’s of Science (M.S.) in Geographic Information Science for Development and Environment (GISDE) from Clark University in Worcester, MA. In 2014, I earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and a GIS Applications Certificate from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). My academic interests include studying human-environment relationships, land and species conservation and management, climate change, and urban landscape phenomena. Feel free to visit my portfolio ( to view projects I have accomplished during my Master’s degree program tenure.

What are your career or educational goals? 

Education and career-wise, I hope to engage in meaningful work that consists of applying my communication, organization, environmental science, GIS and remote sensing skills and knowledge to effectively support the conservation of natural resources and preservation of cultural resources. Specifically, I hope to apply appropriate techniques used in the geospatial analysis of multiple natural and cultural resources, produce and manage GIS data adhering to federal standards, and maintain large-scale geospatial resources through an enterprise database.


Outside of school and work what are your hobbies and/or interests?

Outside of school and work, I enjoy outdoor recreation (sailing, hiking, swimming, exploring new areas, etc.), trying new cuisines from different cultures, road tripping, watching new Marvel movies, drawing, and going to museums. I am interested in interior design concepts of buildings and homes. In addition, I am engaged in ways to help the education of urban youth.

What is your internship project focus? Explain what you will be doing, which parks/partners will you be working with? Who is your mentor at OCLP?

This summer, my internship focus is documenting rare species, specifically Blanding’s turtle and Britton’s Violet, within Minute Man National Historical Park. In order to do so, I will be collaborating and communicating with volunteers and multidisciplinary species experts, engaging in field work for species identification and habitat characterization, applying GIS expertise, preparing species management recommendations, producing a report, and developing a presentation. This internship is made possible under the mentorship of Margie Coffin Brown, Minute Man’s Natural/Cultural Resource Program Manager and former Historical Landscape Architect at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation (OCLP).

Why did you choose to participate in a Designing the Parks Internship? How is your internship hosted? (Examples include: LIHP, ACE, HBCUI, Mosaics in Science, etc)

Last summer, I branched out west and had a phenomenal experience contributing to and learning about U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Lakewood, Colorado as a GIS Technician. This summer, I am thankful to be given this opportunity with National Park Service (NPS) to fulfill a science and GIS expertise need of a national park. My internship allows me to actively think about ways in which our national parks can be managed to best conserve natural resources, preserve cultural artifacts, and provide great visitor experience at the same time in a world that is constantly changing and developing. My internship is hosted under the Mosaics in Science Internship Program in partnership with the Greening Youth Foundation.

 What are you looking forward to learning or exploring during your internship?

I am looking forward to learning about the U.S. national park system and how my national park site fits into the broader web of operations across all parks. In addition, I am looking forward to exploring all components of my summer project and learning about how my project will help my site in the short and long term, exploring the features of my national park site, and engaging with park staff, visitors, and volunteers.

What types of opportunities will Designing the Parks provide you with?

Designing the Parks will provide me GIS training opportunities in a federal-level work context, such as the Northeast Exotic Plant Management Team (NEPMT) training on invasive species data collection and management and OCLP’s mapping workshop tailored to understanding OCLP’s drive and folder organization, data sources, and mapping processes. These trainings have helped me become familar with federal GIS standards and operations. Additional opportunities include collaborating and communicating with the diverse mindsets and expertise of park managers, staff, interns, visitors, and volunteers.