All of us at Eastern Sierra Land Trust are excited to welcome Marie Ring to the team as our 2018/2019 Education Coordinator & AmeriCorps Member!
Marie comes to us through the Sierra Nevada Alliance’s Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) – a selective program that places 28 young leaders into conservation agencies and organizations throughout the Sierra Nevada each year. SNAP members like Marie have been working with ESLT ever since the SNAP program began in 2009. By focusing on watershed restoration and monitoring, education, and volunteer support, our SNAP members play a critical role in connecting our community to the conservation work made possible thanks to supporters like you.
Marie began her 11-month service term in mid-October, and will be with us through September 2019. To help you get to know her better, we asked her a few questions about her background and interests:
What are your roots?
For my entire life (and previous seven generations for my family) Maine, the rural most northeastern state in the country, has been my home. I grew up in a fairly small town and quickly fell in love with nature, exploring the woods in my neighborhood and climbing any tree I could reach the lower branches of. My passion for the outdoors was further inspired by my parents who frequently took me out hiking (even before I could walk) and on other adventures including kayaking, biking and skiing. I knew that eventually I wanted to do something to help protect the land I loved so much.
In May 2018, I graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Biology and a minor in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Studying in Maine allowed me to continue learning more about the state I loved while working with incredible faculty. I also took every opportunity I had to travel including studying abroad in England for a semester, visiting Costa Rica and traveling to different parts of the US. I have always looked for new adventures and opportunities to learn.
What interests you most about this region?
From having professors who taught the importance of John Muir to reading stories set in Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Park to listening to a manager’s account of summiting Mt. Whitney, the Sierra Nevada is a place I’ve always dreamed of exploring. I love the diverse landscape of the jagged mountain peaks, the clear alpine lakes and the wide open spaces of the valleys that make the Eastern Sierra so special. I’m interested in exploring and learning more about the different ecosystems in the magnificent Eastern Sierra.
How did you hear about the SNAP position with ESLT and/or what appealed to you most about this role?
After graduating from the University of Maine I was trying to answer the questions “Okay, now what? What will my next adventure be?” I wanted an opportunity to work in conservation, give back to the community and explore a new place I’d never been. I stumbled across information regarding the SNAP program and realized it was a perfect fit. It would allow me to work in a location I’d always dreamed of exploring and contribute to conservation and education efforts in the local community. After participating in a 4-H STEM Ambassador program through my university, I was excited for the opportunity to continue with education.
What do you look forward to most about working with ESLT in the months to come?
I’m really excited to be working with an organization that has made such a huge impact in conserving the land of the Eastern Sierra. I look forward to connecting with the community and sharing my passion for the environment, especially through the pollinator garden project. I grew up gardening and learning about the huge impact that bees have on the environment and I’m excited to get more people involved in the project. I’m also looking forward to working with children to get them excited about the environment at a young age.
When not at work, what do you look forward to doing while living in the Eastern Sierra?
When not working, you can often find Marie spending time outside exploring new hiking trails, reading in her hammock or trying to become friends with any dogs she comes across.
If you see Marie around town or on the trails, please say hello and welcome her to the Eastside!