Intern Highlight Takeover: The Story Tellin’ Sampler, James.

With a staff of three full time employees, it is near impossible to get EVERYTHING we want accomplished. 

That’s why we are forever grateful for our interns. 

Intern Appreciation Paddle 2018

Especially our summer Swim Guide interns. Not a second of their time goes unnoticed to us, but it’s not as easy for y’all to get to know these amazing people as it is for us- so with that being said, let’s get to know our South Route Sampler, James. 

No matter how hot it is on sampling days, you can catch James smiling.

James posing for a Swim Club Pic!


James is a farmer. But not just any farmer- a GOAT farmer. He is a super hard working guy, with some of the best sampling stories we’ve heard.

He is about to start his Senior year at Samford University majoring in Public Health. He loves to fish and is interested in wildlife conservation and fisheries management.

A bit about his role- 

James grew up swimming and fishing on Lake Mitchell, so the south route is nothing new to him. He travels 197 miles weekly, sampling at 10 sites, driving all the way to  Wetumpka, so you can get “the Skinny Before You Dip!”.

Rain or shine, still sampling! Still smiling!

Bearing the burden of the longest route does not phase James though! He has been known to finish before all the other samplers.

He’s on that farming schedule.

James manages a farm, works full time & is planning a wedding! We are so lucky he is a part of our team this year & that he had the time to answer these questions about his work here!

Q: What is your ideal day on the river? 

A: “Riding around the river in my boat with my fiancee. Oh and GOING FAST!!”

Q: What is your favorite river jam? 

A: “Ride by Twenty one Pilots.”

Q: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your internship? 

A: “The most rewarding aspect of my internship this summer has been traveling to parts of Coosa I’ve not spent time on. Also I have enjoyed getting to educate the people I meet on the river while sampling.”

Q: What surprises you most about being a swim guide sampler? 

A: “How many people have never heard of Coosa Riverkeeper! Like I thought people who live around the river would know more about the organization and what they do.”

Q: What is your favorite snack to eat while sampling? 

A: “Favorite snack to eat while sampling…… SNICKERS AND COKE!”

This post was written by our Program Manager, Karli Riley.

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