Alexander Dickey's deep-rooted passion for the natural world and its conservation inspired all of us at VCE. An annual conservation internship in Alex's memory now honors his legacy in perpetuity.
Alexander Dickey was a young man who inhabited the world intensely and on many fronts. Very little that crossed his path failed to reach his heart. He was a lover of beauty, in all its incarnations — a hummingbird, a new crocus, a verse of poetry, a riff of Spanish guitar. To walk in the woods with him was to experience nature on a deeper level: the flora, birdsong, lichen on the underside of downed trees.
It was to nature, more than anything else, that Alex looked for company — and for satisfaction. In the late 2000s, doing field and office work as a volunteer intern here at VCE, his energy and enthusiasm were infectious, as was the cheerful zest with which he attacked any project to which we set him. Whether warding off black fly swarms on a Bicknell’s Thrush field trip in the Catskills or diligently organizing reams of data on nesting Hispaniolan cloud forest birds — whatever the task, Alex was in his element, and it showed.
It is for this reason that we here at VCE, as well as his friends and family, feel that there could be no more fitting tribute to Alex’s legacy — and none that would please him more — than to establish an annual conservation internship that will make possible a continuance of this work that brought him such joy. The Alexander Dickey Conservation Internship was launched in 2016, and VCE is truly pleased to be able offer this exceptional opportunity annually. Above all else, we seek to advance the career trajectories of promising young conservation biologists who are eager to grow and develop as professionals, who will apply the skills they gain in their internship to make a difference, and who express a personal connection to nature that reflects the solace and delight it offered to Alexander.