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Will spent high school summers leading kids on outdoor adventures at a local camp. "I couldn't imagine ever working strictly indoors all the time." He spent his first year of college at Juniata College in Pennsylvania where a section on forestry in an environmental science course intrigued him. He transferred to UVM's forestry program and was most excited about the outdoor, hands-on courses like Dendrology but also enjoyed the NR 103 lectures with Lecturer John Shane ('81). "It was the one indoor lecture I really looked forward to. John covered ecological concepts you don’t usually consider."
Will received a USDA Multicultural Scholarship to work with adjunct associate professor Paul Schaberg ('81), research technician Paula Murakami ('94), and PhD student Josh Halman ('07) at the U.S. Forest Service research lab in South Burlington. "We studied the timing of maple leaf senescence and fall coloration and its relationship to temperature." Will helped with other field projects and processed lab samples of tree twigs and stem cores for sugar and starch analysis from long-term research plots to examine effects of calcium and aluminum fertilization on forest tree health.
With a minor in geospatial technologies, Will also interned with the Vermont River Conservancy and collected geospatial field data to create maps of potential easements along river corridors. This summer and fall, Will returns to the youth camp to lead a high adventure canoe trip in New York State, run fall school programs, and direct his own fundraised program offering weekend trips for inner city youth. After that, his aspiration is to continue mapping work for a land trust or similar organization.