Photo of the Week – June 4, 2015

Kim Tri inspects a skunk skull in the prairie while Evan Barrientos looks on.  The Nature Conservancy's Platte River Prairies, Nebraska.

Kim Tri inspects a skunk skull in the prairie while Evan Barrientos looks on. The Nature Conservancy’s Platte River Prairies, Nebraska.

This week, we began the third year of our Hubbard Fellowship program here in Nebraska.  Evan Barrientos (Wisconsin) and Kim Tri (Minnesota) are both recent college graduates who will be spending the next year with us, learning all we can teach them about ecology, land restoration and stewardship, conservation strategy, fundraising, marketing/outreach and more.  After a short orientation day on Monday, we spent Tuesday and Wednesday at a big conference with other employees of The Nature Conservancy.  It was an uplifting, but somewhat overwhelming experience for Evan and Kim.  While they learned a lot and met a lot of people at the conference, I was glad to get them back out on the prairie today so we could just take some time to wander the prairie together and talk about natural history and ecology.

There are countless positive attributes of the Hubbard Fellowship program, but one of my personal favorites is the opportunity I get to interact with young, bright, and enthusiastic conservationists.  I love seeing our work and sites through their eyes, and their questions and ideas challenge and inspire me every day.  You’ll get the chance to hear much more about and from Kim and Evan in the coming year, and I hope you’ll feel some of the same hope and energy I do.

We have a lot of conservation challenges to face in the coming years, but I think the next generation of conservation professionals is going to be equal to the task.

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About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
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3 Responses to Photo of the Week – June 4, 2015

  1. James McGee says:

    They look like real nice young people. I hope they spend the little time they won’t be working learning from books.

  2. Eliza P says:

    YAYYY HOORAY WELCOME GUYS!

  3. Pingback: The Connections Between Yucca Moths, Fledgling Robins, Teachers, and Learners – The Practical Psychosomaticist

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