Coming full circle
After graduating from North Cascade Institute’s M.Ed. program I began working for the Cowlitz Valley Ranger district as an Invasive Plant Technician. It was really just a fancy way of saying I mapped and pulled weeds in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. I have to say it was quite a shift moving from learning and teaching about native plants, to training my eye towards the invasive plants. I spent two summers after grad school walking through the woods alone in hot pursuit of invasive plants such as scotch broom, thistles, tansy ragwort, and Knotweed. While being outdoors all summer long was a bonus, hunting the forest for non-native plants was not my passion, or my calling. I moved on to some jobs in the local school districts—subbing, working as a para-educator, or teaching in the after school program.
Bull Thistle, Cisium Vulgare The Most common weed I hunted. Photo by Meghann Wolvert
In August of 2012 I was hired on at the Cispus Learning Center to manage the local AmeriCorps team in east Lewis County. I now spend my time training AmeriCorps volunteers to help in the local schools and provide programming to local youth. I manage the AmeriCorps program budget and leverage funding through the community and through grants. I actively use many of the skills I learned during our non-profit course work in the grad program, as well as many of my lesson planning skills honed over the months of working on the Mountain School Curriculum.
For me it’s a feeling of coming full circle. I was a member of the Cispus AmeriCorps team before I applied to North Cascades Institute’s grad program and had it not been for the AmeriCorps experience I never would have applied to grad school. Now, because of the skills I learned in grad school, I feel like I am doing a job I’m not only passionate about but a job I’m well trained for.Leading photo: Mosquito Meadow’s In the Gifford Pinchot Forest. Photo by Meghann Wolvert
Meghann Wolvert was a member of Cohort 8 and graduated in March 2010. After graduation she moved to Randle, WA just southwest of Mt. Rainier. Since graduating Meghann got married and enjoys spending her free time with her husband fishing, camping and playing in their garden. She is now the Project Supervisor of the Cispus AmeriCorps team and works at the Cispus Learning Center in the Gifford Pinchot Forest.