Meet our new AmeriCorps members Ben and Kaitlin! Ben and Kaitlin will continue the great work of our AmeriCorps alumni protecting ecosystem values and the long-term sustainability of our natural resources for future generations.
Ben grew up in the suburbs of Long Island, New York, where sailing and trips to the Catskill Mountains dominated his summers and ski trips around New England filled his winters. He received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology with a minor in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism from the University of Vermont in hopes of blending his desire to work with animals and be outside as much as possible. Following graduation, he helped manage inventory for an outdoor gear retailer. Most recently, he has sailed in a transatlantic race from Portugal to Bermuda, hiked for three weeks on the Appalachian Trail, and spent time backpacking and climbing in Desolation Wilderness. Ben fell in love with the unique beauty of the Sierra Nevada and is excited to explore more of the range through time with the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation and on his own. When not backpacking, Ben can be found mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and continuously searching for the world’s best chicken wings.
Kaitlin grew up on the south side of Chicago in the suburb of Frankfort, IL. She spent her summers growing up camping, fishing, and hiking with her family. Most of her adventures outdoors as a kid were with her grandfather, who had been a member in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). He was a major influence in her love for the outdoors and conservation. Her mother also encouraged her curiosity for nature by allowing her to do home experiments and also visit the Brookfield Zoo to learn about the animals almost every weekend of summer. Because of this, Kaitlin then went on to study at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. She graduated in 2016 with a B.S. in Environmental Studies. While at Florida State she got to study a wide variety of environmental topics from marine megafauna and coral reef ecology to urban planning and demographics. Following graduation she moved across the country to Tucson, Arizona where she interned at Saguaro National Park. There she mostly worked on invasive vegetation management but also got to aid on projects such as Gila monster tracking, Saguaro census, pit tagging for tracking lesser long nose bats, and surveying. Although the desert was beautiful and amazing she moved yet again to New Hampshire to work for the SCA NH Americorps residential corps. There she got to teach environmental education in the winter and work on trail and conservation projects in the summer. Some highlights include chainsawing for 11 days to create brook trout habitat in Nash stream with Trout Unlimited ; and hiking, camping and working on the Appalachian Trail creating bog bridges and improving trail in the backcountry. Kaitlin was excited to travel back across the country to Placerville, CA to work as a Restoration Technician/Stewardship Assistant for the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation. She cannot wait for the adventures to come this year and is excited for all the new places and faces she will encounter. When Kaitlin isn’t busy exploring the great outdoors you can catch her watching the Seminoles football games, trying new foods, traveling to a new place or watching the newest episodes of Game of Thrones.
Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation
P.O. Box 603 Georgetown, CA 95634