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Majoring in Environmental Studies with minors in Recreation Management and Geography, Zachary Lance conducted community education and outreach for the Lake Champlain Basin Program the summer of his sophomore year. His junior year, he received a scholarship from the Kate Svitek Memorial Fund to pursue service work in Olympic National Park in the state of Washington where he had the opportunity to help preserve and protect one of our nation's most beautiful natural resources while exploring the wilderness of the park.
"Over the course of the summer, I volunteered over 500 hours with the Park Service. I spent up to 10 days at a time backpacking through the magnificent old growth forests and the stunning sub-alpine ridgelines of Sol Duc Valley. As a backcountry ranger, I connected with visitors, hikers, and other volunteers from around the world. I helped encourage leave-no-trace ethics and stressed the importance of preserving and respecting the few truly wild places we have left. I initiated a new food storage program in the backcountry, which will help minimize impacts to the ecosystem while keeping visitors safe from wildlife. I also played a critical role in several search-and-rescue operations to help injured hikers out of the remote backcountry. This summer truly got me excited for a career in the outdoors, striving to protect our vital natural resources while providing education and outreach to all who wish to explore the wilderness."