Thursday, June 12, 2014

The One Where It Began

This, the official week before the World Cup starts also importantly marks our coming together as the LANDSPEOPLE.

                  We are:

 Lincoln, a spiffy bearded drummer from upstate New York!

Courtney, a lover of soils enjoying her first time in these Northern Parts from North Carolina

Nate, a former dj on a Scottish radio station from Alabama

Dustin, a bear wrestling (LNT) carpentry expert from Vermont

Ben, a barefoot walking existential biologist from Alaska

Katherine, a competitive scrabble player and intrepid leader of UVM's outing club from Pennsylvania

Jessa, a professional porch horticulturalist from Connecticut

Travis, a pick up truck driving bat enthusiast from Vermont

Gabo, a deep thinking GIS master from Peru

We are led by a wonderful team consisting of:

Emily, a wilderness metal detector, basically the Magneto of environmental consultancy

Laura, a hexacontinental discus performance artist, she is known in some circles as the Axl Rose of floral ID

and of course, the laudable master of these lands, Deane Wang

It begins, not with a whimper, but a bang.

It was daybreak. We all strode or rode over to the University of Vermont's Aiken Center for our first week of training, brimming with expectation and excitement at the chance to meet new people and discover new environments. Little did we know what would befall us. Creeping around the staircases of the building we slowly found eachother all in stages of confusion and terror as our meeting location had changed to a new room in the basement. As we sat down, a projector was lit. To our horror three figures moved out from behind the desk resting oddly on the far side of the room. They were Deane, Laura and Emily. As they appeared they began to speak, first one, and then another. We sat quivering in our seats listening to our doom being discussed aloud. After the gruesome introduction to what we believed to be the lands program, we were ordered to move outside. The bright light shrunk our pupils. The air felt grating, like sand drying inside of a runner's shorts at a beach 5k. 
          Laura spoke first. "Lets play a game..."

And we did. All kinds of fun team building games! Throughout the week we continued to 'teambuild' as well as learn more about our roles as LANDSPEOPLE. We got to hang out on the green roof of the Aiken Center, lunch together on a sunny lawn and practice our new found skills in Centennial Woods, along the Champlain thrust fault at Lone Rock, and near Camel's Hump on the Long Trail with some really gnarly specialists. These included Liz Thompson who (literally) wrote the book on Natural Communities in Vermont, Bill Gill, Master of UVM's map room, and Steve Libby from the Vermont River Conservancy! We also camped together at the Jericho Research Forest where we made pizzas (of all flavors!) together during a thunderstorm that turned off our power for a few hours. 

We are all well excited for the upcoming weeks together as surveyors, stewards, and consultants. 

Mon the Summer!


      Nate and #LANDS2014

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