Four master’s degree candidates in the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources have earned national recognition.
Megan Espe of Ontario, Wis., Jennica Skoug of Kalamazoo, Mich., Shaina Stewart of Madison and Jessica Tomaszewski of Stevens Point were awarded The Wilderness Society’s 2013 Gaylord Nelson Earth Day Fellowships. The honor recognizes significant contributions to promoting conservation ethics and environmental education and future leadership potential in this field. Each award carries a prize of $1,172.
- Espe is a graduate assistant in the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor’s Center at UW-Stevens Point. She previously was a writer and editor for The Country Today newspaper in Eau Claire and has worked in several parks and nature centers in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Her research is on forming a Schmeeckle Reserve support group and volunteer program. She earned a bachelor degree from St. Olaf College.
- Skoug is a graduate assistant at UW-Stevens Point’s Central Wisconsin Environmental Station in Amherst Junction. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in the South Pacific and taught environmental education for at-risk youth in Florida and Michigan. Her graduate project examines effects of a school garden program at an academy in Michigan. She has a bachelor’s degree from Hope College.
- Stewart also is a graduate assistant at the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station. She has worked in wildlife management in national parks in California and Arizona and led environmental education programs in Minnesota. She has studied bird migration in Australia and earned a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College. Her research measures outcomes of a camp-themed after-school program versus traditional residential summer camps.
- Tomaszewski is an outreach specialist for UW-Stevens Point Continuing Education and is researching outcomes of the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education master of science program. She previously worked for Learning, Experiences & Activities in Forestry (LEAF), a statewide K-12 forestry education program based at UW-Stevens Point. She earned her bachelor’s degree at UW-Stevens Point.
The Wilderness Society initiated the annual recognition in 1990 to mark the 20th anniversary of Earth Day and honor its late founder, Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. senator from Wisconsin and longtime counselor to The Wilderness Society.