ecological planning curriculum
Ecological Planning Class of 2011
- 2011 Ecological Planning and Field Naturalist Team
Left to Right: Tate Bushell (FN), Zac Ipsa-Landa (FN), Rose Graves (EP), Sam Schaefer-Joel (FN), Pam Johnston (EP), Neahga Leonard (EP), Bryarly McEachern (FN), Charlie Hohn (FN).
- Rose Graves
Growing up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Rose's interest in ecology began early in life while spending countless hours discovering the streams and forests near her home. After receiving a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine, she didn't have to come far to join the Ecological Planning Program at UVM. However, her restless need to learn about nature and contribute to conservation and land stewardship led her to many places.
Working for both non-profits and state agencies, she lived in Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, and Vermont as well as a short stay in Peru. Rose's long-term goal is to work with landscape level conservation in working landscapes and to have a bountiful garden. Hopefully, her return to Vermont will also include exploring the Green Mountains and Adirondacks, learning more deeply about her home state, and plenty of outdoor play in all seasons.
- Pamela Johnston
Unlike most nomads these days, Pam moved out of the Pacific Northwest. Born and raised in Salem, Oregon, she was always within easy travel distance of ocean, mountains, and high desert. But, for the earliest years at least, a 1.4-acre plot of land was all Pam needed to enjoy the lush Willamette Valley. Her family's gardens, mini orchard, chicken coop and numerous hiding spots atop tree branches were more than enough to serve a healthy imagination. Little did she know that the seeds sewn in this place would somehow carry her to fields and forests on the opposite side of the country.
Pam has a knack for finding jobs with amazing views—or, perhaps they find her. A biology degree from the University of Oregon was a first step in towing Pam to the Alps of Austria and Italy, where she practiced surviving "real" winters, conducted behavioral ecology research on alpine birds, and handled more avian feces than a statue in Central Park. She eventually found her way back to the New World and her beloved Pacific Ocean, teaching marine ecology with the Northwest Outdoor Science School. Some months later, she woke up in the Taconic Mountains of SW Vermont where she served as a field studies instructor at Smokey House Center—a non-profit organic farm and education center in Danby. There she taught integrated, hands-on science to middle school students, and decided that was her favorite way to learn, too.
Two years later, Pam can't imagine a home outside of Vermont. She is thrilled to have found the Ecological Planning program, where the real classroom is far beyond university walls.
Pam loves kitchen chemistry (the edible kind), the smell of soil and tomato plants, dancing, and fiddling. If the whole world went broke, she'd be perfectly happy raising heritage breed chickens, making useful crafts from natural materials, and learning how to better wield power tools.
- Neahga Leonard
Describing Neahga and his interests is a less than straightforward task. He reads far more of far too many subjects than is healthy, enjoys his vices, and loves to wander slowly through a landscape. Neahga investigates his surroundings carefully with his mind full of questions. He is prone to leap to precarious positions both to play with possible answers and for fun.
Neahga grew up, for the most part, in coastal Northern California, but he moved and traveled often, sometimes changing houses several times a year. The four primary environments Neahga grew up with were wet Douglas Fir/Bolander Pine forest, Redwood forest, Rolling Oak Savanna/Chaparral, and Southwestern Desert. In each of these he found foods he could eat, plants he could make things from, animals to watch, and things to be wary of.
His undergraduate degree was taken at UCSC in anthropology, but he spent a great deal of time studying astronomy, history, and geology. Between graduating from UCSC and entering the FNEP program, Neahga has spent time in working and volunteering in China, the Andes, the Amazon, in a California winery, landscaping, building stone walls, and trying to learn what he can of the world.
If you ask Neahga a question he is likely to have a speedy answer, story, or opinion to offer. It may not be correct, and it may come quickly, but it will always be thought through and is often presented more forcefully than is intended. Neahga is easily excited by ideas.
Last modified April 12 2010 02:15 PM