Owen Porterfield is an islander born and raised, who developed a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of his island home at an early age. Years spent hiking the Vineyard’s numerous trails and beaches left him with the realization that not only are the Island’s natural resources incredibly unique, they’re also incredibly fragile if not protected. This prompted him to study environmental science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he completed an undergraduate thesis analyzing temporal changes in heavy metal concentrations within forest soils of the northeastern United States. While still in college, Owen spent the summer of 2022 as a summer science intern with the Great Pond Foundation (GPF), a position that allowed him to play an active role in maintaining the environmental health of the Vineyard. After graduating from UMass in the spring of 2023, Owen returned to GPF as the 2023 Field Crew Leader (a seasonal position) before stepping into full-time year round staff position of Field Science Coordinator later that year. GPF if delighted that Owen joined its Science Team in November, 2023.