2013: Member - Lauren Sampedro

About me. I attended the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities where I earned a degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in water and a minor in biology. Throughout college I have had jobs related to preserving and improving water quality, such as working for the DNR to prevent aquatic invasive species, working for the U of M on a graduate student's research project about groundwater in rural areas, volunteered with the water quality department at Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, and I had a water quality monitoring internship with the Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District. This year, I am happy to be involved with MN GreenCorps to further my interest and experience in environmental work

About my service. With the MN GreenCorps, I am currently a Green Infrastructure-Stormwater track service member at the Freshwater Society. My main projects involve a newly implemented program called the Master Water Stewards Program that educates citizens on stormwater runoff, and trains those citizens in the program how to manage stormwater runoff. With this program I help the Master Water Stewards install stormwater pollution prevention projects like raingardens, I help plan for these stormwater install events and help plan the stewards' outreach projects that are aimed to get neighbor involvement, I create materials for the stewards to use and hand out for mobilizing their neighbors, I help keep the media up-to-date to spread the word on water quality and Master Water Steward Projects, I will become a Master Water Steward myself and will help establish criteria for bmp assessments, inspect bmps to make sure they are maintained, be involved in reporting how this program has influenced behavior in areas where stewards are located and work with Macalester students on that reporting, and I will also install a bmp project myself and conduct an educational outreach project as a Master Water Steward.

Why I serve. I serve with the MN GreenCorps so that I can have a direct impact on environmental issues in communities. I have always been passionate about environmental issues, especially related to water quality, and serving is allowing me the opportunity to voice my passion to others and help influence a behavioral change towards others becoming more sustainable and adopting more environmentally friendly practices. Serving also provides me with more skills in the environmental field and networking so I can be better prepared for future environmental careers.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. The St. Croix Bluffs in Stillwater are absolutely beautiful, right on the St. Croix River. The bluffs are stunning to look at and I love being able to nerd out over the geology of the bluffs. I love how scenic the St. Croix river shoreline is and how peaceful it is, making a wonderful place to think and appreciate nature and wildlife. Places like this are a nice reminder of why it's important to preserve natural areas.