My name is Oliver Scofield and I am a sophomore in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. I am majoring in Parks, Recreation and Tourism with a focus in Public Outdoor Recreation. I am from Jackson, Wyoming and my love for the outdoors, wildlife and national parks has come from spending endless hours exploring Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and the surrounding areas. I regard my time spent outdoors, especially in the wild, as the best time of my life and certainly the most fun and awesome. My interests in rewilding and ecological design stem from a desire to integrate human systems more closely to the natural world and to provide habitat for animals who have been shunted aside by the will of society.
My name is Eve Drum and when I was little, I wanted to be a cowboy and a farmer at the same time. Little did I know that these are two very conflicting ways of life, as cowboys tend to roam around on horses and farmers are sedentary by trade and nature. In growing up, I basically gave up on those two dreams as realistic goals…until I began to learn about permaculture. My interpretation of this (in my own interest) is the restoration and design of healthy, holistic ecosystems which benefit both humans and the surrounding environment and wildlife- and you can do this anywhere! These days, I enjoy all outdoor pursuits as well as cooking, dancing, eating, and sunshine. I also really love horses.
My name is Brendan Haynes and a student of the University of Vermont. Here I am studying Forestry along with plant biology. I’ve always had an affinity to forested communities and it’s where I find myself the happiest. I was born in the pine barons of Massachusetts not far from a state protected pitch pine forest, and this is where I would spend most my time. I was no 10-year-old naturalist by any stretch but this is when I built my skills in navigating through the forest, which is important in my line of study. My joy came from interacting without destroying the whole system; I never saw anything wrong with sampling the frosting on a fresh cake. I have a few hobbies like mushroom foraging, snowmobiling, Making maple syrup, or kayaking. They are all pretty much seasonal activities but it keeps me occupied year round.
Hello my name is John Truong and growing up as a child my television channels consisted of National Geographics, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and the occasional Nickelodeon when The Wild Thornberry’s were on. I was raised to love science, but to my parents failure at sucking me into the medical world, what drew me to science was the wildlife side of it all. Growing up I have always found a therapeutic escape in being around animals and now that I am older I am the proud caretaker of pets that I have adopted due to neglect from their previous owners. Currently I am a sophomore at the University of Vermont, originally from good ole Burlington, Vermont and am majoring in Wildlife Biology. Upon graduation I hope to find a research job out of the country working on wildlife conservation and eventually I would like to return back to school to become a veterinarian.
Brian Thompson: I was born in Oakland, California, to my loving mothers Jean and Briana. As long as I can remember my family has always had garden in our backyard, which seems to grow in scope and size every year. Between gardening and opportunities to explore the hills and forests of the Bay Area, I have long had an affinity for plants, soil, and fresh air. In 11th grade, I was so fortunate as to participate in a 26-day backpacking program run by my school. My small group hiked just over 100 miles through the mountains and valleys of Death Valley National Park. The journey left me with a bit of more-than-logical understanding about the interconnectedness of earth’s systems and their beauty and importance.
Soon after I returned to school, I ran into some of the very solution-oriented ideas orbiting permaculture and ecological design, inspiring me and offering hope for a stronger future. Since then, I’ve been trying to soak up knowledge and experience and maybe make a difference along the way. Now I’m in Vermont, where I’m currently a sophomore studying Ecosystem Design and Management, and angling toward making a life of growing food, fuel, and probably fiber to boot, while restoring ecological and community health and function. Outside of classes, I enjoy cross-country skiing, hiking, riding bikes, growing, cooking, and eating delicious food, and I occasionally find time to read books. I’m also actively involved in organizing to pressure UVM to divest from fossil fuel stocks, as a part of a wider international anti-extraction movement.
On this blog, I’ll be exploring innovative ways that human systems integrate and use water, focusing on creative urban storm-water management, but foraying into other realms as well.
Laura Stalter: I’m from Long Island, NY and currently a sophomore at the University of Vermont studying wildlife biology, with a minor in environmental studies. I’ve always loved nature, whether I’m at Yellowstone National Park or Central Park in New York City. My love of animals has led me to work towards a career in wildlife conservation. I hope to protect biodiversity in order to make a healthy world for all life where humans and wildlife may coexist.
My name is Alejandro Vinueza, and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Vermont. I am majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology where I aim to protect and be an advocate for animal rights. I was raised, and still reside in New York City, thus being influenced by the urban setting, the rich culture and importance on community has manifested itself into molding the man that I am today. Some of my fondest memories revolve around the times I spent with my family. I vividly remember how my parents, my two siblings, and myself would nestle on the couch to engage in our Sunday ritual of watching nature programs. Our home was constantly bustling with the visuals and sounds of the Discovery Channel, or Animal Planet. Just watching with how much stealth and grace the lionesses would go hunting till this day amazes me. It is an incredible sight to watch such intelligence and strength be so strategically combined to execute a particular means. It truly is nothing short of absolute brilliance.
During my High School career I was granted the blessing of being the assistant to a Wildlife Biologist and this experience further propelled me to want to pursue a career in this field. I helped the biologist set up camera traps in Westchester, New York because he was interested in how coyotes were traveling down to the city due to the fact that coyotes usually do not habitat there. Being out in the woods, a connection with nature was established and the vital importance of protecting it and helping others become more aware of its needs became my mission. I sincerely hope to continue working and expanding my knowledge on this area because the environment, and the animals that occupy it have given meaning to my existence in that they have exposed to me what my purpose in life is. Mark Twain once said that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why”, and well I think it’s safe to say that I finally found my answer.