A typical Wednesday afternoon at Conserve School includes a meeting of the Colleges and Careers course, a presentation about an environmental career given by a guest speaker from the area, and participation in service, or stewardship, projects on campus. This past Wednesday was a little different than most. The afternoon began with a presentation about work in the United States Forest Service, transitioned into campus service projects, and concluded with a talk about service with the Peace Corps.
Melissa Simpson, an Ecologist with the United States Forest Service who works in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, spoke to the students about various opportunities present within the Forest Service for both college students and professionals. She talked not only about her experiences as an ecologist, but also other areas of natural resources she has worked closely with, such as fire services and archeology. Simpson suggested college degree programs in natural resources that could lead to jobs in the Forest Service and gave the students some personal advice for college.
Next, the students scatted around campus to do service projects with one of Conserve School’s Graduate Fellows. Service projects are a part of community living at Conserve School and help to enhance some aspect of campus life. This week’s projects included constructing a natural deer exclosure near the edge of campus, removing scale insects from the LAB’s indoor plants, transporting the outdoor bees into a shed for the winter, and baking treats for next week’s house meeting. Also during this time, students and staff had the opportunity to give blood right here on campus to the Northwoods Community Blood Center.
A presentation by Jarod and Mariah Maggio, Peace Corps volunteers in the Philippines and current graduate students at Michigan Technological University, concluded the afternoon. They spoke about their Peace Corps training before transitioning into their life and work in the Philippines. The Maggios gave students advice about what college experiences would increase their chances of being accepted into the Peace Corps and talked about what type of person a Peace Corps volunteer needs to be. Conserve School’s own Nancy Schwatz and Robert Eady also shared some thoughts about their Peace Corps service.
-Graduate Fellow Maria Kopecky