Where are they now? // Shane M. DeGroy

January 24, 2019

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Shane M. DeGroy is currently a Forestry Technician with Hennepin County, Department of Environment & Energy. Shane served with Conservation Corps MN & IA in 2015. Read on to learn about his experience during and after the Corps.

What kind of work did you do when you were in the Corps?

I served in three different AmeriCorps programs:

  • The first was Environmental Stewards with Conservation Legacy. I served with USGS by aiding in research and helping combat the spread of invasive reptiles in Everglades National Park.

  • My second AmeriCorps experience was with Conservation Corps MN & IA. I was based out of Rochester, MN- and mostly served in the region’s state parks. Depending on the season I felled trees, pulled or sprayed invasive vegetation, and participated in prescribed burns.

  • Most recently I finished up a service term with the MN GreenCorps. There I was placed with Hennepin County’s forestry program, where I now work today.

Shane is pictured on the right during a prescribed burn with Conservation Corps.

Shane is pictured on the right during a prescribed burn with Conservation Corps.

Were there any particularly memorable or challenging experiences?

Every prescribed burn I participated in was both a memorable and challenging experience. But they were also the most fun!

What was the most personally meaningful part of the experience?

The most personally meaningful part of my Corps experience has been all of the connections I’ve made during my time serving. I’ve made some great friends who I still see, even years later.

How did your experience shape your career/life?

The experience and skills I gained serving with CCMI and MN GreenCorps is a huge part of where I am today. From those two service terms combined with my education background I qualified to take the International Society of Arboriculture’s exam to become a Certified Arborist. In addition, I was able to use those skills to get hired as a Forestry Technician- a job that I love doing and work that I find incredibly satisfying. (Also, the education award was very helpful).

What advice would you offer to a current AmeriCorps member serving in Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa?

Oil your boots! I’ve been out of CCMI for over three years and mine are still going strong! I don’t wear them every day, of course- but it is nice to have them should I need a good pair of steel toes for a project.

What did you do immediately after your time in the Corps?

When my service term with CCMI ended I decided I wanted to try to go to Antarctica. For years I had been fascinated with the continent, and at the end of my term I wasn’t tied down to any job or housing, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. And it was! I spent about three months working in the galley down at McMurdo Research Station, and I absolutely loved it. The end of a service term can be daunting if you don’t know where you’re going to live or work- but it can also be an opportunity.

What is your current position?

Currently I am working as a Forestry Technician for Hennepin County’s Department of Environment & Energy. I was fortunate enough to be hired on after spending a year serving with the county’s forestry program through the MN GreenCorps.

What kind of work do you do?

I plant trees, organize volunteer events, educate students and volunteers about forestry, and provide technical assistance to communities within Hennepin County.