Alex Baad is serving at the Vermont Natural Resource Council as the Community Energy Coordinator
Growing up in Vermont, I often took nature for granted. Living so close to places like Lake Champlain, Shelburne Farms, Mt. Philo and others it was so easy to forget how rare places like these were. Though once I got older, I started to realize that not everywhere is nature protected and revered like it is in Vermont. I realized that I needed to help protect the environment in any way I could, so I went to the University of Michigan where I received my B.A in Political Science and International Studies with a focus on Environmental Policy and Issues. During my studies and after graduating, I traveled and worked in many different cities across the world, but a part of me always missed the easy accessibility to nature that I had in Vermont. In fact, it wasn’t until I started to travel and live outside of Vermont that I realized how lucky I was to have grown up in a state that has done so much to protect its wildlife, landscapes and wilderness. The reason I joined VHCB AmeriCorps here in Vermont was so that I could help continue the long tradition of protecting our natural world. As the Community Energy Coordinator with the Vermont Natural Resource Council and Vermont Energy and Conservation Action Network, I am able to serve communities and build strong foundations across the state. Through both of these great organizations, I know that I can help keep Vermont as beautiful as it has always been for many future generations to come.
Courtney Dickerson serving at Catamount Trails Association as the Outreach and Youth Program Coordinator
I grew up in Vermont, surrounded by farmland and forests. I would spend countless hours after school exploring nature around my house and playing in the woods. This fostered a love for the Vermont landscape and inspired by studies at Middlebury College, where I majored in Conservation Biology. I went on to get a masters degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of Rhode Island, where I also researched the impact of climate change on monarch butterflies and their host plant, common milkweed. After graduate school, I taught math and science in an English immersion program for international students. I have just moved back to Vermont and am excited to be serving at Catamount Trail Association. I will be leading the Ski Cubs program, which is a youth cross-country skiing program that promotes healthy lifestyles and a love of winter at no cost to participants. The goal is to increase accessibility to skiing in communities that might have limited resources or access to winter activities. I will also be helping with efforts to protect the Catamount Trail through conservation initiatives.