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Chesapeake Conservation Corps Members in Prince George’s County

By August 27, 2021News

On August 17, 2021, the Chesapeake Bay Trust welcomed the newest cohort of Chesapeake Conservation Corps members and celebrated graduating members. The Chesapeake Conservation Corps program aims to invest in young people, provide valuable job skills training, and promote a green economy. The program matches young people ages 18-25 with non-profit and government organizations for one-year stipend-supported terms of service, focused on improving local communities and protecting natural resources.

This year, 33 new Corps members were placed with 31 host organizations throughout the state of Maryland, as well as a host site in Pennsylvania. During their year of service, Corps members will work with their host organizations to gain valuable on-the-job experience as they work to advance environmental conservation, K-12 education, energy efficiency programs, sustainable agriculture practices, and a host of other environmentally focused initiatives.

Five of the incoming Corps members will be working with Prince George’s County-based organizations located in Accokeek, Brandywine, Edmonston, Laurel, and Riverdale. Learn more below about the exciting work the Corps members will take on in the coming year!

Kathryn Burcham, Prince George’s County Public Schools, William S. Schmidt Outdoor Education Center
Brandywine
Kathryn will serve her year at The Schmidt Center leading students and teachers to implement environmental lessons, conduct field restoration projects, practice animal care, facilitate team building, and assist with professional development opportunities for teachers. Prior to joining the Corps, Kathryn graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. Kathryn is looking forward to building meaningful connections and gaining new experiences through the Corps.

Andrew Rapp, U.S. Geological Survey: Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Laurel
Andrew will serve his year with the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and will focus on monitoring a variety of avian species on Poplar Island and as well as method development (unmanned aircraft systems and thermal imaging). Andrew recently graduated from the College of William and Mary with a double major in Biology and Environmental Science & Policy. Andrew spent his summer as a first mate on a fishing boat off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to learn about seabirds, marine mammals, and fisheries.

Jack Ruszkowski, Accokeek Foundation
Accokeek
During his year Jack will work as the Pasture Restoration Specialist with the Accokeek Foundation. Jack will spend time sampling and identifying native and invasive plant species within livestock pastures, mapping plant species sampled using ArcGIS, and developing and implementing an integrated livestock plan for invasive species management and pasture restoration. Jack is a recent graduate from the College of William and Mary with a degree in Anthropology. He has an interest in agriculture and forestry projects, particularly those relating to soil health and sustainable agriculture.

Bethany Sims, Town of Edmonston
Edmonston
Bethany will spend her year with the Town of Edmonston where she will focus on community engagement and education programs for the residents of Edmonston. She will also be involved with development of environmental policy for the Town and will work with the urban forestry and energy programs. Bethany has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Political Studies from Towson University. She is driven by the need to protect vulnerable animals and preserve their habitat. In her free time, Bethany loves painting and drawing scenes.

Sally Watanabe, ECO City Farms
Riverdale
Sally will spend her year in the Corps with ECO City Farms. She will cultivate sustainably grown food year-round; turn local food waste into rich compost; educate local youth and families about food, health, and the environment; engage in hands-on trainings and permaculture projects on the farm; and be involved in outreach and community organizing for urban farming/environmental restoration. Sally recently graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in Psychology. She is passionate about sustainability, social justice, and nurturing the relationship between people and nature/animals. Other passions of Sally include music, anything outdoors, yoga, painting, and exploring spirituality.

Congratulations to the incoming 2021-2022 cohort and the graduated alumni! Learn more about this year’s full cohort here.

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