Devyn – Stewarding Conservation

Devyn was born and raised in Maryland growing up between a farm and the Chesapeake Bay, this was where his love of conservation began.

I was always active and out exploring the world around. That planted the seed for life long curiosity, I think Einstein said it best: “I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.” That curiosity helped develop my knowledge of the world around me, I decided I wanted to know what things were, so I taught myself. I am a very active individual that enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, just being outside and exploring the beauty of our state. When I’m not wondering, I am a passionate reader, cook, storyteller, baker, lover of poetry, home canning, playing tabletop games especially D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) and learning new things. I continually explore new experiences and love getting to know people and listening to their stories.           

We live and learn as we go, when we know better, we do better.

My passion is for the environment, especially wetland and riparian ecosystems. I graduated in 2018 from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a B.S. in environmental science and minor in writing and rhetoric. During my time there, I learned how everything is connected, and change is the only constant. We live and learn as we go, when we know better, we do better. That guided me through years of challenging course work that make me proud to be an ESF Alumni. As an environmental science major, I learned a lot about every science field. I developed a well-rounded perspective of the world, the focus on an interdisciplinary approach. Our course work was hands on, addressing real world problems in our community. I took on leadership roles as a peer tutor and assistant coordinator in our public speaking lab and as an introduction to soils teaching assistant. I am proud to say I was able to give back to my fellow students and be part of their educational experience. The work I enjoyed most thoroughly were all wetland and conservation based. I was given the opportunity to do research on vernal pool networks on conservation land. This work was a chance for me to culminate my education and resulted in a published report. From that point I was determined to explore that field further yet was unsure how to approach that goal.

The program has changed me over my first year of service.

I am a returning Volunteer Coordinator serving a second year with AmeriCorps and Volunteer Maryland. Previously I served at Anne Arundel County Forestry Board as Volunteer Coordinator of the Weed Warrior program. During my time serving there I developed and honed my skills as a Volunteer Coordinator. We were able to expand a partnership with the public school system to connect the children with the environment and parks around their schools. I helped build capacity of the program by starting a partnership with Master Gardeners to collaborate efforts. I loved working with people in this program and met many wonderful people through Volunteer Maryland. The program has changed me over my first year of service. I grew both personally and professionally as I developed into a leader on invasive plant management in Anne Arundel county parks system. Over that time, I became very effective at information dissemination. I was able to take technical and scientific reports and teach people of differing experiences about plant identification and management. That may seem simple, but the invasive plant are often just symptoms of a larger problems. The plants themselves often take many hours to identify and develop the best management practice for a given site’s management goals. I enjoyed the challenge this presented and feel I left the program in a good place to continue its growth.

I hope that this year my growth continues in both personal and professional settings.

During my time in Syracuse, NY I was active in just about every volunteer opportunity that came up. I loved the connection and sense of community I had built there. The volunteer actives I enjoyed the most were when we got the chance to work with conservation easement sites. The sites were always amazing, and the land owners were remarkable people. I enjoyed the conservation course I took in college and wanted to explore opportunities in that field. I finally got the chance this year by serving at Maryland Environmental Trust (MET). MET is a leader in the state conservation field and is looking to expand capacity of its volunteer program. Having built my experience last year with VM on a smaller program, I am excited for the challenges of a statewide program. This is an opportunity for me to expand my sense of community and develop a better understanding of issues surrounding conservation in Maryland. The support and growth I had last year with my VM cohort was another important reason for me to return for a second year. I hope that this year my growth continues in both personal and professional settings. I’m excited to grow, learn, serve my community and see how I develop over the year. I know it will transform me into a better-rounded individual that can get things done.

To learn more about the Maryland Environmental Trust and volunteer opportunities visit: MET.

1 thought on “Devyn – Stewarding Conservation

  1. Great stuff, Devyn. Thanks for good job. Keep going!

    Take care,
    William

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