By JULIA GOODHART and CORY FRONING
Aspen reigns from the north woods of Minnesota, but now spends her days roaming the streets and wild lands around Missoula, MT. A junior at the University of Montana, she is studying environmental studies and international development studies. She enjoys spending days in the backcountry, pickin on the guitar, writing about the natural world around her, and drinking milkshakes. She came to Landscape and Livelihoods this fall to gain a better understanding of the ways in which people interact with their surroundings in a sustainable way, and to be a part of a hands on environmental education program. She is excited to be learning more about communities and conservation in the beautiful state she now calls home.
Evan is originally from Louisville, KY and moved to Lexington, KY in 2014 to attend school at the University of Kentucky. He is studying to get a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology with a minor in environmental studies. Evan chose to come to Montana’s Landscape and Livelihood semester out west because of the outside-of-a-traditional-classroom, hands-on learning style the program offers. Coupled with issues not normally presented on the eastern side of the country, this program is the perfect opportunity to gain a broader understanding of the earth’s greater issues as well as first hand perspective from those working day to day trying to solve them.
Hailey Hubbard is a junior at the University of Michigan in her home state. She is majoring through the Program in the Environment and hopes to dual degree in the School of Kinesiology. She came to Montana to study outside of a city, learn natural history, and experience the wilderness.
Henry is from just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He had attended the University of Maryland for business for three semesters but had decided that wasn’t the right choice for him. He has a passionate desire to solve the many complex urban issues in Philadelphia. Thanks to his older sister Julia, he found out about the program in Montana as a way to expand his knowledge and give him the ability to introduce the skills he learns here back home in the city.
Kristen grew up on Long Island, New York in a beach community just outside of New York City and currently attends the University of Vermont, where she is majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ecology and Policy. She has enjoyed seeing the contrast in the role of nature between urban and rural environments, and that is partly what led her to Montana. She is looking forward to exploring this new place, learning new things about community based conservation, and living an alternative and sustainable lifestyle for the next two months.
Home for Lucy is a rural town nestled in the green mountains of Vermont, surrounded by forests, brooks and mountain streams. She comes from a family and community of farmers, gardeners, maple sugar-makers, landscapers, carpenters, sawyers, and artists whose livelihoods are all inextricably tied to the surrounding environment. This upbringing taught her the importance of a working landscape: of living with the seasons and tending a garden, of putting food and wood by for the winter, of crafting things by hand for function as well as beauty, with much inspiration drawn from the place she lives. She finds energy in community, woodworking, playing music, and exploring the outdoors. Lucy came to northwest Montana for the Landscape & Livelihoods semester to build upon her keen interest in understanding the vibrant and dynamic intersection of people and place. Her studies in community, ecological design, forestry, and food systems have been driven by a desire to answer the question, how do we live best in the places we inhabit? Lucy is in her junior year as an Environmental Studies major and Forestry minor at the University of Vermont.
Lydia Lapporte comes from Lafayette, CA and studies environmental studies, studio art and sociology at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. She is very interested in working with issues of food justice and sustainable agriculture. She enjoys making pickles and harvesting potatoes. She is also a huge worm/soil/ceramics/chicken/chai tea/sourdough bread fiend. She is interested in exploring the powerful niche of regenerative agriculture/small scale food production, and is hoping to further her understanding of The Swan Valley’s relationship with its incredible working landscape.
Mikie is a Boise State Ecology student with an interest in range land science. She is hoping to pursue a career as a rangeland manager and to always maintain a close connection with the open spaces of the world. Mikie is looking forward to the outdoor learning that Swan Valley Connections brings and excited to learn everything about the beautiful Montana wilderness.
Riley Charles Burke is a fifth year senior at Iowa State University. He is majoring in Animal Ecology with a focus in Wildlife and Interpretation. After graduating he plans on continuing his education and obtaining his master's and eventually his PhD. After that he hopes to become a professor and help breakdown the barriers between the scientific community and the general public. Riley lives in the small suburban town of Bondurant just northeast of Des Moines, IA. He is eager to meet and interact with several of the locals who live in the Crown of the Continent, and he sees L&L as a great opportunity to further his career.
Sophie grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and is in her third year at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She studies Global Resource Systems with a focus in Sustainable Agriculture and Water Resource Management. She loves working in the garden and being outside and is excited to learn about the local ecosystems, people and economies of the Swan Valley and surrounding areas on a more personal level!