Wyoming Conservation Corps 2010 Field Projects Completed

September 9, 2010
Woman cutting down tree
WCC crew member Erin Daley of Loveland, Colo., cuts into a lodgepole pine on Casper Mountain. WCC student workers logged more than 31,000 hours of service and 36 projects completed this field season.

University of Wyoming students gained valuable leadership and outdoor skills working this summer with the Wyoming Conservation Corps.

"Leadership in public service" is the corps' motto, with Wyoming's residents as the beneficiaries of the crews' hard work enhancing public lands," says Indy Burke, director of the University of Wyoming's Environment and Natural Resources program that coordinates the WCC program

With sponsors such as UW's School of Energy Resources along with industry, corporate and non-profit organizations, WCC partnered with state and federal land management agencies on projects that required students to demonstrate leadership skills.

Projects included maintaining habitats for wildlife and mitigating bark beetle impacts on the forests to creating recreational trail systems and restoring historic sites. WCC student workers logged more than 31,000 hours of service and 36 projects completed this field season. Six crews worked together to assist resource managers with public lands management activities.

Students worked on projects for the Wyoming State Parks, Bureau of Land Management, Medicine Bow National Forest, the Casper Nordic Center, the Casper Biathlon Club, the Teton-Bridger National Forest, the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center and the National Elk Refuge.

UW students that participated in the WCC field projects were:

Alexandria, Va. -- Connor Michelli.
Bethesda, Md. -- Danny McGee.
Blue Hill, Maine -- Caleb Owen.
Casper -- Sam Murray.
Castle Rock, Colo. -- Darrin Lutz.
Centralia, Ill. -- Brent Pease.
Chandler, Ariz. -- Ali Fleck.
Cheyenne -- Autumn DeMers, Katie Fields, Jake White.
Cranford, N.J. -- Maxwell Lasky.
Forest, Va. -- Sarah Boman.
Fort Collins, Colo. -- Amy Healy, Kaitlin Healy.
Galesburg, Ill. -- Cassi Lundeen.
Geneva, Ill.-- Phil Byrne.
Gillette -- Mike Nielson, Luke Stricker.
Greeley, Colo. -- Katie Carlson.
Green River -- Stephanie Bartlett.
Greybull -- Patrick Harrington.
Lander -- Calla Massman.
Laramie -- Matt Carlson, Emily Erickson, Amy Freye, Caitlin Grandjean, Mia Lauenroth, Maxim Lowry, Stephanie MarShall, Will Muessig, Kirk Sheffield, Matt Wohonick, Joshua Zeeb.
Lincoln, Neb. -- Madison Grault.
Littleton, Colo. -- Laura Holthus.
Loveland, Colo. -- Erin Daley, Emily Peters.
Mount Kisco, N.Y. -- Asher Rosenfeld.
Omaha, Neb. -- David Cummings.
Ontario, N.Y. -- Claire Wayman.
Rock Springs -- Amber Wilson.
Salt Lake City, Utah -- Adam Ellowitz.
St. Cloud, Minn. -- Ali Osgood, Kathryn Osgood.
Torrington -- Chris Jolovich.
Two Harbors, Minn. -- Eben Johnson.
White Plains, N.Y. -- Emma Oppenheim.

"Students are our future land stewards and through the WCC they can learn first hand about natural resources and energy development in Wyoming," said Mark Northam, director of UW's School of Energy Resources. "The wide assortment of projects on public lands allows them to gain the skills and field experiences necessary to pursue a career in natural resources."

Founded in 2006, this year represents WCC's fourth successful field season. The WCC relies on grant dollars to fulfill its mission and in 2010 generated $46,000 in private and foundation gifts in addition to receiving funding from AmeriCorps.

The WCC has been built on the long legacy created by the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and the Youth Conservation Corps of the 1970s. "The WCC continues this legacy by carrying out the highest caliber of service for Wyoming's public lands," said Kendall Peacock, a WCC project coordinator.

As an AmeriCorps program, WCC requires 450 to 900 volunteer hours that start in the classroom and end in the field. Members earn a monthly stipend and college credits during the academic year, receiving extensive training in leadership, civil engagement, and natural resource ethics, Peacock added.

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