Fishers Island Conservancy Fishers Island

Fishers Island Conservancy Education Programs

Education / Island Sentinels

Wildlife monitoring and connect with the natural environment

Erik Blomquist My name is Erik Blomquist, and I have been fortunate enough to call Fishers Island a second home my entire life. Since I was little, I have come out to the island to visit my grandparents and experience the unique little world that is Fishers Island. It was at a young age that I began finding undeniable interest in the natural world, always being told by my grandpa, John Ski, to "observe nature".

For the past seven years, I have spent summers on Fishers working various jobs. Last summer I worked as an intern for the Fishers Island Conservancy doing some basic invasive plant species removal, mostly throughout the Parade Grounds. I worked alongside Adam Mitchell and Joe Henderson, helping to make progress in the projects they envisioned for that specific area.

Summer Monitoring:

Olivia Backhaus, 20, lives in Stonington, CT and graduated from Fishers Island School in 2014. This is her fourth year working as a Sentinel for the Fishers Island Conservancy. Working as a Sentinel has inspired Olivia to major in Biology and minor in Environmental Studies at Sewanee: The University of the South. In the future, she hopes to do environmental research on marine habitats and biology.

Erik Blomquist is a senior at the University of Colorado in Boulder, majoring in Environmental Studies. He has been coming out to Fishers Island all of his life, visiting his grandparents John and Mary Ski. For the past 7 years, Erik has spent the summers living and working on Fishers Island. Last summer he completed an internship with the Conservancy and is a member of the Island Sentinel team.

Conner Wakeman, 18, has been coming to the Island during summers with his family since he was born. Both his sustainable mindset and the Island's charm have inspired him to help as a conservationist. Next year he will attend the University of Pennsylvania and plans to study Environmental Science.

Gardner Thors, is a 14 year old Island Sentinel for the Fishers Island Conservancy. He lives in New York City, but will be attending Groton School in Massachusetts in the fall. As a city kid he doesn't get to experience real nature and wildlife except for the landscaped Central Park and the infamous pigeons and squirrels of the city. Fishers Island is his wildlife sanctuary. Gardner has been coming here for as long as he can remember and holds a special place in his heart for Fishers. That is why he chose to play a part in the preservation of this environment. Gardner looks forward to learning more about the island's ecosystems and sharing what he learns with all island residents and community.

Tech Sentinel:

Jack Morrissey is our newest Sentinel and is a year round Fishers Island resident. He enjoys all of the beauty and nature on Fishers and most days you will find Jack biking, paddle boarding, and exploring the island with friends. Jack is presently our Tech Sentinel and supports the Conservancy on presentations, photography and digital media.

The Sentinel Program is closed for Summer 2016.