2012 Interns

Thomas Hendrick (Summer)

Thomas graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and started working in Denver at 7NEWS. He spent three years at 7NEWS working in a variety of roles including on-air reporter and web editor. In 2010, after reading “Natural Capitalism,” he decided to change careers and become a business sustainability consultant. Thomas traveled across the pond and enrolled in a master’s program at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. There he studied environmental auditing, UK and EU environmental law, renewable energy, environmental management, and project management. He worked on a number of consulting projects including finding CO2 savings in the distribution fleet of a major UK supermarket chain and installing renewable energy options for a printing company. Now back in Denver, Thomas hopes to work with businesses and help them become more sustainable. In his free time, Thomas enjoys hiking, skiing, writing, and spending time with friends.


Karen Howe (Summer)

Karen is looking to create long-term change by adapting current systems to encompass sustainable practice. In January 2012, she was selected as a Student Sustainability Coordinator at Western State Colorado University (WSCU). She currently leads the Real Food Challenge at Western State to find the percentage of real food served on campus. She acts as Sustainability Ambassador to the Student Government and reviews grant requests for approval from the Sustainability Fund. Karen is also a fiery member of her community; she is President of Western State’s Sustainability Coalition, visits local art galleries, skis, kayaks, hikes, and mountain bikes. She is working toward her undergraduate degree in both Art and Environmental Studies from WSCU and loves Gunnison, CO wilderness.


Zach Swank (Summer)

Zach graduated from Clarkson University with a degree in political science and minors in computer science and environmental science and policy. Working for the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) government relations department he found that while lobbying on environmental issues is vital, perhaps it is not the best leverage point at the moment. After WWF, Zach spent three years serving with the Peace Corps in Mauritania and Senegal, West Africa. In Senegal, Zach discovered a passion for environmental business consulting while overseeing the design, construction, and management of an ecotourism lodge. In the current political, economic, and social environment, businesses are the most dynamic and capable of effectuating major changes. For this reason Zach is very excited about being part of the Natural Capitalism Solutions team when he is not out enjoying Colorado’s outdoor beauty.


Eryn Elder (Summer)

Eryn grew up on a family farm in Kansas where she learned to appreciate the earth and witnessed the power of nature. Aside from her farming background, Eryn is also a former award-winning high school language arts teacher. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s degree at Kansas State University, Eryn taught for three years at a high-needs high school as an English teacher, and she coached freshman volleyball. Throughout her undergraduate experience and early career as a teacher, Eryn developed a passion for volunteer work and helping others, which helped her realize the importance of policies that can shape both education and business practices.
Currently, Eryn is working on her Master’s degree in education foundations, policy, and practice at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is especially interested in growing social and environmental sustainability practices in businesses and schools, and she wants to find her niche in the world where she can combine her background of helping others with her enthusiasm for increasing people’s awareness of natural capitalism. Through her internship with Natural Capitalism Solutions, Eryn wants to gain experience with sustainability consulting and policy, and she wants to learn more about sustainability practices that can decrease social injustices throughout the world. Aside from working, Eryn enjoys many hobbies including: playing volleyball (both indoor court and sand), skiing, hiking, reading, playing the piano, and traveling.

Andrew Aultman (Summer)

Andrew is currently pursuing his Master of Public Administration at the University of Wyoming, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree in International Studies. Although his background in international studies focused primarily on human rights and social justice issues, including a study abroad experience in India dedicated to examining how social justice (primarily women’s rights) organizations function in an Indian context, his true passion is for sustainable economic and social development in an international setting. Andrew is excited for the opportunity to work with NCS on the Future We Want project, which will (hopefully) allow him to explore how social and economic development intersect, something he has found to be largely ignored in academia but seems to have significant consequences for successful development. In his almost nonexistent free time, Andrew enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, biking, and spending time with his friends.



Colette Crouse (Summer)

Colette graduated from the University of Oregon Clark Honors College with a degree in Spanish and International Relations and a minor in French. Experience in communications and mediation led Colette toward a career in international conflict resolution before a growing sense of responsibility and urgency to protect the natural world guided her to the environmental field.
Colette interned with the Denver-based Institute for Environmental Solutions, where she worked on research, marketing, and outreach for local community urban forestry projects. She currently assists the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and the United States Green Building Council Colorado Chapter in social media and marketing. Driven by a firm belief that environmental consciousness makes economic sense, Colette is committed to harmonizing human, financial, and natural capital. She believes industry will be the primary actor in advancing sustainability, and marketing the tool used to mainstream “green” behavior. Colette plans to pursue joint masters degrees in business administration and environmental management. Outside of NCS, Colette enjoys sports and music, cooking, travel, foreign film, and the great outdoors.


Witt Harlin (Spring)

Raised in Georgia, Witt was an avid backpacker and a member of his local Boy Scout troop. It was here that he developed his passion for the environment, and later on, for sustainability. These passions led him to the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in society & policy. In addition to pursuing a degree at CU, Witt also played on the men’s lacrosse team for four years. With his degree, Witt hopes to be able to make a positive impact on the world by pursuing a career in consulting or policy reform. In his spare time he enjoys coaching and playing lacrosse, going to concerts, reading, and exploring the great outdoors.



Ben Shapiro (Spring)

Ben is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Raised in Northern California, he enjoys all things outdoors and traces his sense of environmentalism to a childhood spent largely exploring national parks with his family. His main interests are in renewable energy project implementation and increasing businesses’ energy efficiency. He aspires to play a significant role in rapidly increasing accessibility to renewable energy, and his work at NCS has focused primarily on renewable energy policy reform. In his free time Ben enjoys trail running, biking, backpacking, and snowboarding.