Wade Hammer started his natural resources career as a corps member in Faribault. Never straying too far from this path, Wade now works as an environmental consultant with NRG/ERM. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 1996 with a degree in biology. Fueled by his love of biology and interest in natural resources, Wade started looking for a job where he could gain hands-on experience. When he found the Corps he was grateful for the chance to gain field experience right out of college ― with the opportunity to network, build his resume and work outdoors.
Wade also remembers how challenging the experience was. His crew started in the fall and worked through a cold and snowy winter. He estimates they spent 80-90% of their time doing buckthorn removal. Luckily, the work was also rewarding and helped support his career trajectory. The Corps taught Wade endurance and fortitude to withstand the elements. He believes the heavy, manual labor outdoors helped boost his resume when he applied for jobs. He was also able to use his stipend to help fund graduate school supplies.
Wade’s work involves helping clients understand and gain environmental permits for projects. He still spends time working outdoors doing wetland delineation work, braving through mosquito-thick swamps. Conservation Corps provided Wade with his first real life opportunity in a natural resources career. After 19 years he is still hard at work in that field.