Danielle served with Conservation Corps from 2016-2018 and plans to join our Alumni Council this year! Learn more about Danielle’s service and where the Corps has led her:
Over the last two years I have traveled thousands of miles, met hundreds of people, and learned more than I ever could have imagined. I always tell people that joining the Conservation Corps was my best accident, something I never planned to nor, to be honest, wanted to do. But the door opened, and my path turned, and I became a member of an immense and vibrant community of national volunteers. So, thank you CCMI, for showing me that ‘service’ can be whatever is needed to meet the needs around me and for letting my ‘office’ be anything from a kayak to a trail to a classroom to a roof top in Puerto Rico.
When were you in the Corps, year and program?
2016: Northeast Field Crew Program
2017: Individual Placement, International Water Institute, Fargo, ND
Where did you work?
Field Crew: Based out of Moose Lake Parks and Trails; spent a significant time working in St. Croix State Park and up the North Shore, and completed a deployment in Baton Rouge, LA.
Individual Placement: Based out of Fargo, ND but worked throughout the Red River Basin of the North, spanning from the Breckenridge to Fergus up to Thief River over the Minto and down to Fargo. Completed a deployment in Puerto Rico.
What kind of work did you do?
Field Crew: Spent a significant amount of time doing wildfire, trail maintenance, and working in the BWCA.
IP: Educational programming for High Schoolers through River Watch and for 4th Graders through our River of Dreams Program, water monitoring in the Buffalo River Watershed, and GIS, primarily working on a Drained Basins inventory.
Were there any particularly memorable or challenging experiences?
- Boundary Waters: I just reread my blog post from this project, and a lot of it remains true. It was exhausting and difficult work but incredibly rewarding.
- Disaster Responses: Hands down my favorite aspect of my terms with the Conservation Corps. I grew in more ways than I thought possible.
What was/has been the most personally meaningful part of the experience?
Learning about the power of water and natural disasters was a theme of my service, both during my time on a field crew and as an Individual Placement. During my two years with CCMI I was able to respond to both the Baton Rouge Floods and Hurricane Maria; both of which have been the highest privilege of my young adulthood. The opportunity to tangibly serve people when they are experiencing a traumatic loss is something I will forever be grateful for.
Did your experience shape your current career/life in any way?
CCMI gave me space to grow both personally but also in what I want to do in my future career/life. It equipped me for my current position but also helped me decide to go back to school to pursue disaster response. Experiencing the results of natural disasters through wildfire and the BWCA blowdown during my field crew term and working with the MN Flood Damage Reduction Work Group during my IP term really combined well with my disaster deployments allowing me to clarify a vision for where I want to go next in life.
What is your current position?
Monitoring and Education Specialist
What do you do?
At the International Water Institute, I combine my passions, and focus on our monitoring, educational programing, and geospatial analysis projects. As with most small non-profits, all of our staff wear multiple hats, and my job exemplifies that. In addition to my primary responsibilities, I contribute to maintaining the website and updating social media accounts. If you attend a River Watch event, you will most likely find me running around with a camera in hand.