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Open House for Wyoming Conservation Corps Nov. 5 at UW

October 25, 2021
man in a hard hat working on a hillside
Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) crew member Jordan Uplinger builds trail along Limestone Mountain in the Shoshone National Forest near Lander in July. An open house to learn more about WCC is scheduled from noon-2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at UW. (UW Photo)

The Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) program is returning under the University of Wyoming’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources.

To note the change, the Haub School will host an open house at the WCC House, located at 1615 Fraternity Row, from noon-2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5. The public and UW campus community are invited to meet WCC staff, learn more about WCC programs, enjoy refreshments and tour the building. WCC is currently recruiting crew leaders and crew members for summer 2022, and the open house is an opportunity to learn more about these positions and the application process.

WCC started in 2006 and was originally part of the Haub School. In 2013, the organization was moved out of the Haub School for administrative purposes. As part of restructuring in response to budget reductions this year, WCC was moved from UW’s Residence Life and Dining Services back into the Haub School.

This move takes advantage of a natural partnership between WCC and the Haub School -- both programs emphasize experiential, place-based learning and training the next generation of environmental leaders and problem solvers, says Haub School Dean John Koprowski.

“The Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources is pleased to welcome back WCC,” Koprowski says. “Our shared mission is to have an impact on our wild and working lands, which is accomplished, in part, through enhanced experiences and engagement of our students. Great partners mean great impact.”

Jim Fried, WCC program director, also supports the return to the Haub School and invites the public to learn more about the program.

“During this open house, we hope to see some familiar friends as well as new faces in our building. WCC is gearing up for our 2022 season, and we are looking for quality candidates for all positions. Come check out our operations and meet our staff,” Fried says.

WCC’s mission is to promote individual development, stewardship and education through localized national service. In partnership with AmeriCorps and ServeWyoming, each year WCC recruits 10 crew leaders and 30 crew members to form five crews.

Two crew leaders and six crew member spots are reserved specifically for individuals who served in the military to make up the Veterans Trail Crew. Over the summer, all crews are dispatched to locations throughout Wyoming on six rigorous 10-day hitches where they work on conservation projects such as sustainable trail building; recreation infrastructure maintenance; historic preservation; fence building; forest thinning; and invasive plant removal.

In addition to their field experiences, WCC members also acquire valuable certifications, earn academic credit through the Haub School and receive AmeriCorps education awards that can be used to pay for college or graduate school or to pay back student loans.

During the spring semester, crew leaders take a course titled “Leadership in Natural Resource Management.” Leaders also earn an S-212 chainsaw certification and are trained as wilderness first responders. During the summer, crew members take the “Conservation Leadership” course as well as earn a wilderness first aid certification and receive “Leave No Trace” training.

To learn more about WCC, go to www.uwyo.edu/haub/wcc or email Fried at jfried@uwyo.edu.

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