2016: Member - Mikaela Buscher

2016 GreenCorps member Mikaela BuscherAbout me. The idea of turning my appreciation for nature into a career path is a fairly recent development. I grew up in the Twin Cities, and while I have always enjoyed being outside, I didn’t appreciate the intrinsic value of nature until I began taking forestry and geography classes at the University of Minnesota. When I began my biology degree, I had planned to go into public health, but this path shifted as I became more aware of threats to the environment and the unsupportable human impact based on extravagant consumptive habits. I graduated in May 2016 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Biology, Society, and the Environment. In a way, my growing interest in natural resource management continues my previous desire to improve health and well-being, but in a more holistic way that incorporates the larger ecosystem in which we live.

About my service.  I am serving in the Green Infrastructure, Urban Forestry track at a nonprofit organization called Tree Trust. My service at Tree Trust involves projects where I am examining the health of trees over time. The data that I collect through tree inventories will be used to inform best management practices for newly planted trees and educational materials for new tree owners, provide a working database of trees planted by Tree Trust, and measure overall planting success. I also will be working with schools and communities to provide educational opportunities for the public on proper tree planting and pruning techniques, invasive species movement through our urban forests, and how to help mitigate the effects of climate change through developing our urban canopy.

Why I serve.  I am serving in the Minnesota GreenCorps to learn more about urban forestry practices, gain conservation experience, and inform my decision on whether to pursue further education in conservation and a career in resource management. Being a part of the Minnesota GreenCorps gives me the opportunity to work on current environmental issues and apply my background in biology to natural resource management practices in Minnesota.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. Shovel Point at Tettegouche State Park (northeast of Duluth) has amazing hiking trails and breathtaking views of Lake Superior. I went to this state park for the first time with my Forest Ecology class a few years ago, but have gone back to visit every time I’m in the Duluth area.