By: Shelby Kilibarda
What does service mean to me? I probably would have answered this question a lot differently two years ago, before I got my first position with the Conservation Crops of MN & IA (CCM). I think of service as giving back to your community in ways that will benefit their well-being and what they hold most dear. Connecting people to nature, giving them a reason to care about the environment, is what I enjoyed about working for CCM most.
During my first term with CCM, I got a position as a field crew member, where I restored habitat by removing invasive species, improved water trails by clearing tree snags, improved canoe-in campsites, constructed and maintained raingardens, stabilized stream banks/erosion control, planted native trees and fought wildfires. My second position with CCM was in the Individual Placement Program, where I was placed with an organization called Monarch Joint Venture (MJV). I assisted with outreach activities and events, created content for social media channels and the MJV website, assisted with writing news posts, responded to general inquiries about monarchs, planned meeting logistics and participated in monarch habitat monitoring activities. Below I have highlighted a few of my projects:
- Monarch Highway Map – I created this personalized map of the I-35 Corridor, or Monarch Highway, for North American Pollinator Projection Campaign (NAPPC).
- Where Are All The Monarchs? – I wrote this article explaining why people aren’t seeing as many monarchs around.
- http://monarchjointventure.org/ - I wrote news articles, website pages and organized content on the MJV website
- http://oberhauserlab.cfans.umn.edu/ - I have added all the content to this website
- Instagram accounts (@monarchlab_mlmp & @monarchjointventure) – I created Instagram accounts for both MJV and the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab.
Although I am sad to be leaving CCM and MJV, I have secured a job with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a LTE Wildlife Biology and LTE Wildlife Technician. My dream job is to be a permanent Wildlife Biologist for the DNR, so I am on my way to making that happen! I thank CCM for helping me gain the experience necessary to land these amazing positions. I am excited for what the future holds!