The Conservation Corps Apprentice Academy is a young program but showing great promise for participants such as Colin Snowberg, who served with the Anoka Conservation District in 2011 and now works as a project scientist for an environmental consulting firm in the Twin Cities. During his apprenticeship, he focused on water quality management in the county, including streams, lakes, wetlands and groundwater. His work involved collecting water samples, gauging water levels, conducting biomonitoring and constructing rain gardens as well as managing data and mapping with GIS software.
Snowberg recalls a memorable – and challenging -- day navigating his way to a wetland monitoring spot located almost a mile down a trail after a heavy rain made it too muddy to take a truck. The black flies and mosquitos were so thick he could barely see, though he did manage to get his data.
He describes his apprentice experience as a great resume builder, giving him skills he uses in his current job – such as performing wetland delineations and increasing community involvement in environmental projects. He also values the relationships he developed with Corps and District staff, which remain strong to this day. In his current position at Cardno, Snowberg focuses primarily on investigation and remediation of petroleum releases and assists in areas such as environmental compliance and building sciences.