The Boyertown Area Times
Hawk Mountain offering 10day ecology course
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is accepting applications for a 10-day Appalachian Ecology Course to be held June 17-26 at the Albany Township site.
This training is designed for people ages 15 to 17 with a passion for the outdoors and a strong interest in pursuing a career in wildlife or habitat conservation. The serious curriculum connects participants with a range of Ph.D.-level scientists, leaders in the conservation field and college-level educators.
The tuition rate is $2,800. Scholarships are available thanks to two generous donors. Deadline to register is May 14.
“Hawk Mountain has nearly 90 years of experience in managing its lands and modeling best practices and boasts an exceptionally qualified staff with a large network of partners, Director of Stewardship Todd Bauman said. “We are uniquely equipped to provide young people with a hands-on experience that will elevate them
to an early leadership position in the field, all before they even begin their college careers.”
Participants will camp on-site, working as a team to maintain the area and prepare meals. They will use each day to experience a new discipline, connecting with experts in the field. Topics covered include raptor identification; trapping, tagging and monitoring techniques; forest ecology and dendrology; GIS mapping, water assessments and riparian corridor protection; herpetology inventories and native plants and pollinators, each led by a sanctuary scientist or partner professor or expert.
Land management skills will include rigging and mechanical advantage, wildland travel, invasive plant and storm water management and outdoor survival techniques.
“This course will feature a strong focus on careers and connecting young people with what we hope to be long-term mentors,” Bauman said. “Our goal is to graduate well qualified and skilled young people who have a strong advantage in the field as they begin to seek experience and apply for ongoing degrees.”
Sanctuary officials said the course is limited and competitive and demands a strong work ethic along with the physical ability to participate. To apply, interested individuals must submit an essay explaining why they hope to explore the possibility of working in the field of conservation and how they believe this course could shape future career decisions.
To learn more and read the full course description, go to www.hawkmountain. org/events/appalachianecology-course.