University of Vermont

Kelsey Head: Environmental Studies Major

Kelsey Head

Kelsey Head felt reluctant to attend UVM having grown up in nearby Norwich, VT, but the environmental studies program curriculum included field-based classes and environmental art classes, and the Rubenstein School felt so intimate.

Kelsey opted to spend the year after high school as a ski lift operator in Teluride, Colorado and was surprised at how comfortable, yet exciting UVM felt. "I felt a strong sense of community in RSENR. The School fosters an identity as a 'Rubie,' which is a source of pride to its students."

Kelsey grew up along the Connecticut River, and her high school biology teacher provided a river monitoring experience on the Oompompanoosuc River which piqued Kelsey's interest in water quality. An educator and program assistant for three years with Erin DeVries, coordinator of the UVM Watershed Alliance, Kelsey engaged Vermont student groups with hands-on stream and lake monitoring. She also developed place-based, environmental curricula for grades 5-12.

An intern with Friends of the Winooski River, Kelsey assisted volunteers with water quality sampling and created an online map of E. coli levels. For the Lewis Creek Association, she coordinated volunteers in removal of aquatic invasive plants. In Professor Tom Hudspeth's service-learning course, in partnership with Harwood Union Middle School, Kelsey developed interactive education curricula focused on watershed science in the Mad River Valley in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

Recipient of the Environmental Studies Achievement Award, Kelsey is now the Watershed Alliance program assistant. She hopes to become certified as a teacher of environmental studies or science in an alternative school.