Prairie Partner Intern 2010
Graduated University of Wisconsin-Steven's Point, 2010
Current position: Owner, Hasheider Habitat & Invasive Management (Sauk City, WI)
Favorite memory of the program: There were so many awesome memories from that summer, it's impossible to choose. I really enjoyed talking to the other interns and volunteers/managers at all the properties we worked at. I tried to soak in as much information and enjoyment as I could that summer. We had beautiful days, we had some rough weather days, we shared a lot of knowledge, got a lot done, and had a lot of laughs!
Impact of the program on your academic and/or career path: It was a highlight of my resume coming out of college. I was contacted by a few restoration companies that liked the fact I had worked in restoration, especially prairies. I accepted a position about 4 days into my job search at a company that was working a large prairie restoration project in central Illinois. With my knowledge of prairie species as well as some of the technical skills that were learned/enhanced by my internship, I was able to rise to Field Manager for the company. Eventually I left that position to start my own company, Hasheider Habitat & Invasive Management, doing ecological restoration focusing on southern Wisconsin (but covering the whole state and neighbor states). I'm very pleased to say Hasheider Habitat will be celebrating its fifth year of operation in April!
The internship opened a lot of doors, and the path I chose has led me to see many incredible areas that most people don't get to see. Our work allows us to go beyond what you can see from the road. It has given me the chance to make many new friends who have a passion for creating better habitat and better wildlife. You can't just talk to any random person about how important oak regeneration is or the value of a prairie versus agriculture fields or residential lots without looking a little crazy, unless the other person shares interest in ecology or sound land stewardship!
How you used what you learned in the internship in future employment: The identification of species has been very important in continuing to do ecological restoration. Some of the removal methods we used at the internship I still use today.