With my home in Pittsford, Vermont just over an hour's drive south of Burlington, UVM was actually one of the last places I thought I would find myself after graduating high school. I wanted to explore new territory of the world around and within me, territory that I did not believe the Green Mountain State could even offer. Little did I know that the Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources would reveal new pathways into, and perspectives of, a state I thought I knew so well. Suddenly, my experiences as an ENVS major concentrating in Ecology and Conservation, with a minor in Wildlife Biology became the catalysts for a journey that I know will continue well beyond graduation.
During my time at UVM, I was able to tap into an extensive network of opportunities that served to challenge and stimulate my growth. After training through the Outing Club to become a backpacking trip leader my sophomore year, I took a position in the Presidential Range of New Hampshire as a caretaker to expand my experience in backcountry travel and ethics. I returned from that experience with a new-found passion for wilderness as it can be defined through community. This would eventually culminate into my senior capstone internship over the summer of 2013 in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho. I am also now teaching that same leadership development course that started me on my path.
My hope is to continue developing my passion for wild lands here in the northeast, to work with people to foster responsible communities, and to connect the two in a new approach to wilderness conservation and stewardship. As I prepare to close this chapter of my life, I cannot help but recall the doubt I once expressed, followed by the expanse I discovered in our humble little corner of the globe. If there’s a thread through my experiences in the past four years, let it be that. Those uncertain moments are the best opportunities for us to expand ourselves and see a new universe of potential in every little detail we may come to discover.