Wellfleet Conservation Trust preserves four new parcels in Fall, 2020

By Denny O’Connell

Following the landmark Herring River Overlook acquisition in late summer, the Wellfleet Conservation Trust (WCT) has acquired four additional new properties this Fall. These properties are at various locations around town, adding an additional 12 acres of land in conservation. Founded in 1984, WCT now conserves a total of over 417 acres of land.


Jack Hennessey donated a 1.08 acre buildable lot in the northern part of Wellfleet at 121 Meadow View. It is the entirety of a kettle hole formed in glacial times when a stagnant ice bock finally melted leaving a depression in the sand and gravel landscape. It hosts white and black oak and red maple and provides a mix of upland and swamp habitat; the steep banks offer good burrows for fox and coyotes to den. The ridge on its north side leads over to the Herring River valley.

Mr. Hennessey, a retired professor, lives next door. “It is good to see this lot permanently protected,” said Mr. Hennessey, “I bought it for privacy protection and now I can rest easy knowing WCT will continue to take care of it.” WCT plans to keep this property in its natural state, thus protecting the habitat and ground water resources.

Janis Swain sold WCT a small buildable lot at 11 Paine Avenue off Old Wharf Road at a discount. This is the first of a two-part purchase in which the Swain family has agreed to sell both lots to us at a bargain. The second purchase will be consummated in 2023, when the family can benefit from the Massachusetts Conservation Land Tax Credit program.

These lots are at the edge of the late-1800s Miles-Merrill subdivision around Old Wharf Point and its approach. The plan predated zoning in Wellfleet and the lots are as small as 5000 square feet! Many were combined and built on, resulting in a maze of cottages on sand roads.

The Swain lots border an abandoned swamp garden where the early residents diked off upper reaches of salt marsh and dried them out to create planting fields. The dikes have broken down over time and some of the tallest invasive Phragmites reeds in town grow in the swamp now.

In 1992, Janis and her late husband, Douglas Swain, benefitted WCT when they donated a one acre parcel on Mill Hill Island. Since then, the WCT and Town, in the care and custody of the Conservation Commission, have acquired all of the 6-acre island in Loagy Bay, so the Island is permanently conserved.

Most recently, WCT purchased two lots from the Richard B. Butterfield estate. The first lot is a buildable, sloping 0.63 acre marsh-front lot located at 130 Bayberry Lane. The second parcel is ten-acres of salt marsh wrapping around the Bayberry Lane neighborhood and up Silver Springs.

The marsh parcel connects to a ¾-acre parcel purchased by WCT in 1994, which in turn connects with other WCT parcels at the intersection of Lt. Island Road and Bayberry Lane. On the east side, the lot connects to the WCT-Town Bayberry Hill Conservation Area.

Salt marshes have been recognized to have very high conservation values for coastal resilience and for being productive breeding grounds for fin and shell fisheries. These parcels will be retained in their natural state.

New open space map

Thanks to the hard work of Mary Doucette, Year 22 Member of AmeriCorps Cape Cod, we now have a new open space map for Wellfleet.

The map is in portable document format (pdf), meaning that it should be easily viewable on most computers, tablets, and phones. At 900 dots per inch, the detail is amazing, showing roads, buildings, ponds, beaches, and more.

It displays lands managed by the Cape Cod National Seashore, Wellfleet Conservation Trust (both Trust lands and conservation restrictions), the Town Conservation Commission, Mass Audubon, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

It’s worth noting , as you can see on the map, that many of the lands abut others, making possible extended walking trails and unrestricted views.

You can see a thumbnail version of the map on the home page of the Wellfleet Conservation Trust site. If you click on that small map, you should be able to see the much more detailed pdf version. That one can be viewed online, zooming in or out, or downloaded for more detailed offline study or printing.

AmeriCorps Worker Mary Doucette – In Her Own Words

This year the Trust welcomes new AmeriCorps worker Mary Doucette, a native of Brewster.    We interviewed Mary for an article in the newsletter, but the full text printed here in her own words captures much more of Mary’s exuberance and willingness to serve WCT and Wellfleet. 

Growing up on Cape Cod

I was always outside! My mom took me and my siblings to Crosby Beach all the time in the summer, and I spent many weekends hiking through Nickerson State Park. I spent pretty much all my time during my adolescence either at school, in nature, or flipping pancakes at the Brewster Coffee Shop.

Nauset Regional High School Experience

I feel very fortunate to have gone to NRHS, it prepared me so well for college, especially with my writing abilities and techniques (I was a writing tutor at Eckerd College and I think the preparation NRHS gave me was the biggest reason I was able to get that position). I was very heavily involved with the music department, specifically choir, during my time there; I was in concert choir for two years and treble choir for my last two.

Inspirational Teachers

Mrs. Beavan and Mr. Faris were my choir conductors throughout my time at school, and they were very supportive and inspirational individuals. Because of their guidance and support I continued pursuing music in college as an extracurricular activity. I became the president of my college’s a cappella group and during my presidency we were accepted to Carnegie Hall to perform in an international concert (which was sadly postponed due to COVID-19). I was also inspired by Katie Ilkovich, who was my field hockey coach. She is such a memorable part of my high school years, and I always had a great time with her! I think my biggest inspiration however, is my college mentor, Doctor Lisa Miller, who really guided me through my academic journey and has helped me grow as a student and figure out what I want to do with my life.

First awareness of AmeriCorps opportunities

I first really became aware of AmeriCorps while volunteering with the Dennis Conservation Land Trust in the summer of 2018; I worked a few times alongside their ACC placement that year, and then started looking into it myself. In the summer of 2019, I was the intern at the Brewster Conservation Trust and I spent a lot of time with their placement that year, CJ, and got to know more about ACC.

Decision to Join AmeriCorps

I loved working with ACC year 20 and I really enjoyed what I learned about the program itself from seeing it firsthand. I knew I wanted to take a year off between undergrad and grad school, so it really seemed like the best option for me!

Interest in the Environment

Growing up on the Cape definitely influenced my interest in the environment! I am extremely grateful that I was able to grow up in an area where I could go out my front door and be able to walk to the bike path, Nickerson State Park, beaches, and a multitude of trails. I have always been an environmentalist because of this, and my passion continued to grow when I left the Cape for college and was able to experience a wider variety of ecosystems and learn more about the natural world in a higher education setting.


I attended Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and just graduated this past May. I double majored in sociology and environmental studies, with a minor in biology. I love academics and spent a lot of time in the library studying! I am really proud of all that I accomplished in my undergrad career: I was accepted into the Southern Sociological Society’s 2020 annual meeting in a paper session for environmental sociology research I conducted and asked to be the presider for the session; I was part of the American Sociological Association Honors Program at their national conference for a paper on how race and gender influence income in top earners; I was a teaching assistant for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and for a sociology course; I was a writing tutor; and I was chosen as a research assistant for Doctor Lisa Miller’s work on aging LGBTQ+ individuals. Even with all my academics I still made time for extracurricular activities like a cappella, camping in the Everglades, visiting springs, and adventuring around the St. Petersburg area.

Special Area of ecology

I am really interested in the social aspects of the environment, such as the relationship between human society and the natural world! Aside from that though, I truly enjoy learning about all other facets of ecology. I think it’s crazy how every species has evolved over thousands of years to be just as it is now, and there’s a reason for why it evolved that way! It is just mind boggling.

Accomplishments with the Brewster Trust

Over the past two summers as their intern, I have done a lot with the BCT! I’ve made over 50 maps for them, an environmental education video series, installed a kiosk and a bridge, and have learned to use all the power tools in their shed. I think my top accomplishment though, is the mere fact that over the course of two summers I never got poison ivy, and only had one run in with a tick.

Changes Last March

In March, my college closed the campus, and my two friends and I packed up a Penske truck and drove straight home. I then finished up my last semester of college online, which had its challenges, but I made it through and graduated in my kitchen surrounded by my family!

Work Schedule 

I serve with Wellfleet Conservation Trust on Tuesdays, and then on Wednesdays and Thursdays I am with the Brewster Conservation Trust. On Mondays and Fridays, I partake in group service with my team to help service partners, like the WCT, carry out projects.

Wellfleet Tasks

I will be updating their current Wellfleet Open Space map, and hopefully will be able to do more GIS work for the WCT. I will also be helping update and manage their property books, create new ones, etc. Outside of the office, I will be helping with land stewardship efforts, such as inspecting properties, engaging with volunteers, doing trail maintenance (and hopefully creating a trail).

AmeriCorps Arrangements this Year

This year, AmeriCorps Cape Cod has four houses as opposed to the usual three (now there is one in each section of the Cape). Three other members and I live in the newest addition, the Devine House in Chatham. We combine with the LeHac house in Wellfleet to make up the Outer Cape team! There are also less members, 16 instead of 24. This way we can be evenly spread out across the Cape, with four members in each house and supervisors in two of the houses.


My family is from Brewster, so I am only a ten minute drive away, so I am able to stop by my parents’ house to visit my mom, dad, younger sister, and our two Bernese mountain dog puppies (Ellie, 10 months old; Tucker, 6 months old). I also have an older brother who lives in Boston, and an older sister who is doing a fellowship at the Newport Mansions this year! I am 100% a dog person, so I stop by my parents’ house often to see my dogs; the two pups get so unbelievably excited when I pull into the driveway and I will never get tired of it.

Favorite Activities

I love rollerblading, it’s one of my biggest passions! I try to get out on the bike path as often as I can and skate for miles. Skating is one thing that without fail, puts a smile on my face and puts me in a great mood. I have to admit that I do dance while I’m on my skates, there’s just nothing like popping in my headphones and skating to the rhythm. I also love making music, whether that be singing, playing the ukulele, practicing the drums (I am a beginner still), dabbling on the piano, or writing songs. I may not be the best at any of them, but it’s definitely a creative outlet and so I jam out whenever possible. My team hangs out a lot (safely and socially distanced), and so it has been a lot of fun showing my teammates around the Cape; they make doing tourist-y things fun.

Future plans

I am currently in the process of applying for sociology Ph.D. programs where I plan to study environmental sociology and become a researcher and professor. I particularly want to study environmental inequality and how climate change has and will continue to impact different minority groups (mainly race and gender).

Other facts about MaryI love volunteering! On the Cape, I have volunteered with Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, Eastham WildCare, Dennis Conservation Land Trust, and Sipson Island Trust. I also spent three weeks in Peru building a school in the outskirts of Lima as a service project with my college, which was a humbling and beautiful experience both while working on the school and because we were able to travel around the county, we saw the Nazca lines from a plane, and hiked Machu Picchu!

I have been vegan for almost five years now!

The more dirt and sweat I have on me by the end of the day, the more satisfied I am with my work! I love working in the field and getting into the thick of it, whether it’s crawling through brambles to pull garlic mustard, or trekking through a drainage ditch while dodging poison ivy to get coordinates for a map, I am game for anything.

So there you have it – our hard working, singing, dog-loving, rollerblading, vegan, down in the dirt, vibrant Mary Doucette.

COASTSWEEP 2020  Update

Image from last year's COASTSWEEP
Image from last year’s COASTSWEEP

In October, WCT and its cosponsors normally hold a coordinated “sweep” of debris and trash around Wellfleet Harbor beaches under the Statewide COASTSWEEP program. For the past five years we have done the SWEEP during mid-October and then reported our results to the State’s Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

Due to COVID-19 related issues, we cannot hold a regular program, so we encourage you to enjoy the beaches and safely remove debris and trash (hopefully not much, as we encountered last year).  We will evaluate the program in 2021, but for now, please enjoy our special place and stay healthy and safe.

Herring River Overlook

The Herring River Overlook Property on Chequessett Neck Road, Wellfleet

Jacqualyn Fouse of Wellfleet has donated the largest gift of upland ever to the Wellfleet Conservation Trust (WCT). Ms. Fouse gave WCT 18.5 acres of native pine forest overlooking the Herring River estuary above the Chequessett Neck Road dike. In announcing the gift, WCT President Dennis (Denny) O’Connell said, “The Trust is extremely grateful to Ms. Fouse for making this incredible conservation success happen. Jackie stepped up in a magnificent way. We honor Jackie for her commitment to conservation. It is exciting to think that this beautiful land has never been developed, and never will be.”

Herring River Overlook Property looking downstream

Ms. Fouse had recently acquired the land from the Chequessett Club. The land was surplus to Chequessett’s current and planned golf course renovations. WCT will keep the area in its natural state, preserving the habitat and natural functions of the land. The Trust will create limited walking trails to scenic views across the Herring River valley. Access to the land and limited parking will be along Chequessett Neck Road only, not through the golf course.

See full press release here.

See short video about the donation and the property.

Herring River Overlook Property looking upstream

Finding solace in nature

In these locked-up times we miss large gatherings, concerts, dining out, and social visits. Many of us have lost jobs and contact with loved ones. It’s easy to assume that all our social interactions must be through Zoom, our meditations guided by YouTube, and our thinking trapped in endless narratives of the end-of-times.

However, the natural world remains to explore and enjoy. We can still watch the unceasing but ever-changing waves at the beach, walk through forests, listen to birds, check out the bees in the new bee house, and watch adorable rabbits eating our recently planted vegetables. With fewer cars and trucks travelling long distances the air is cleaner and living things are flourishing.

In his book, Confessions, Jean-Jacques Rousseau says, “I can only meditate when I am walking. When I stop, I cease to think; my mind works only with my legs.” Rousseau’s walking was in the woods, not on a treadmill or in a shopping mall. His journeys remind us that our life cannot be separated from the natural world.

Walking in nature can be a social activity as well (six feet apart, of course). Informal connection can be deeper and more attuned to the needs we all feel in these times. We may still feel lost, but we have a chance to find both others and ourselves when we remember our role in nature.

The Trust asked supporters, trustees, and other lovers of nature what particular consolation from nature they are finding during these Covid times. You can some of the responses in the June 2020 newsletter.

Trail maintenance

During Covid-19 times the Wellfleet Conservation Trust has had to postpone many customary activities involving in person meetings. However, nature has its own schedule, which we have to follow.

Mike Fisher assessing the tree's predicament
Mike Fisher assessing the tree’s predicament

One issue that nature imposes is trail maintenance, especially when it impacts public safety. An example of this came when we received a report of a fallen tree on the trail at the Ralph and Dorothy Clover Conservation Area.

Stephen Bruce and Denny O'Connell throwing a rope over the fallen tree
Stephen Bruce and Denny O’Connell throwing a rope over the fallen tree

The tree had been broken in a windstorm. It was still in one piece, but twisted and partially cracked through. Most of it was jammed in place between two other trees. There did not appear to be an immediate danger, but it was clear that it could dislodge at some point and fall onto the trail.

On May 22, a small group of us went to the site armed with a new chainsaw, ropes, a come-along, loppers, work gloves, ear and eye protectors, and of course face masks. It took us about an hour, but we eventually took down the tree, and turned it into a safe lining for the trail.

Denny O'Connell, Chip Bruce, and Gary Joseph using a rope and come-along an an attempt to dislodge the tree
Denny O’Connell, Chip Bruce, and Gary Joseph using a rope and come-along an an attempt to dislodge the tree

Gary Joseph, Chip Bruce, and Stephen Bruce adding their weight to the come-along's pull
Gary Joseph, Chip Bruce, and Stephen Bruce adding their weight to the come-along’s pull

Denny O'Connell applying the chainsaw
Denny O’Connell applying the chainsaw

[Photos by Susie Quigley]

Earth Day, 2020

“You only have two mothers; be kind to both of them” Writing in the sand at Fox Island Marsh trailhead

Land is #MyHappyPlace. On this #EarthDay, we need #Land4All more than ever. Land trusts save the special places we need and love.

Wellfleet Conservation Trust is an IRS approved non-profit organization established in 1984 to assist and promote the preservation of natural resources and rural character of the town of Wellfleet. Its mission is to conserve land in its natural state in perpetuity for enjoyment by current and future generations.

The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc. (The Compact) was founded in 1986 as a nonprofit regional support organization for six local land trusts on Cape Cod. Today, The Compact provides 26 local and regional land trusts as well as watershed associations with technical expertise to preserve critical lands that protect the public water supply, protect scenic views, protect wildlife habitat, provide walking trails, and protect Cape Cod’s character, all of which draw countless visitors who drive our regional economy. There is no other nonprofit that offers similar services on Cape Cod. The national Land Trust Alliance has called The Compact a national model of a sustainable land trust coalition.

State of Wellfleet Harbor Conference, 2019

For the 17th year, Wellfleet hosted its State of the Harbor Conference. It was held at the Wellfleet Elementary School on a beautiful, sunny, fall day––Saturday, November 2, 2019.

Participants included ordinary citizens, fishermen, students from K-12 through graduate school, town officials, and staff of the Mass Audubon, the National Park Service, the Center for Coastal Studies, Wellfleet Conservation Trust, and other organizations. They came to report on what they are learning about the ecosystem of the harbor.

Audience at Wellfleet Elementary School

Audience at Wellfleet Elementary School

Abigail Franklin Archer, from Cape Cod Extension, was the Conference Moderator. The schedule was filled with interesting presentations and posters.

There was coffee, snacks, and ample time for informal discussions as well. Americorps workers focusing on the environment helped with the organization, logistics, and even serving Mac’s clam chowder for the lunch.

Q/A with Martha Craig and Kirk Bozma

Q/A with Martha Craig and Kirk Bozma on Herring River restoration

On Sunday, there was a follow-up field trip to look at Wellfleet Harbor’s history and its “black mayonnaise”.

Interactions Within Ecosystems

As was the case in previous years, this was a learning event throughout.

Continuing what’s now a 17-year tradition, the conference showed the complex connections between humans and other living things including phytoplankton, striped bass, menhaden, horseshoe crabs, oysters, quahogs, seals, terrapins, molas (sunfish), phragmites, bacteria, protozoa, resident and migrating birds, as well as the land, sea, and air.

Presenters discussed ideas that went beyond the everyday understanding of harbor ecosystems. These ideas included bioturbation––the disturbance of soil, especially on the sea floor by organisms such as crabs and other invertebrates. There was talk of organism lipid levels as a measure of their nutrient value for predators. One poster emphasized the rise in Mola mola population attributable to increased numbers of jellyfish.

John Brault with Krill Carson's poster on the Mola explosion

John Brault with Krill Carson’s poster on the Mola explosion

One presentation discussed a major meta-analysis of ocean phenology studies. This research looks at when significant events such as spawning, migration, or molting, occur in an organism’s life cycle. Those times are shifting as a result of global heating, changes in ocean currents and nutrient availability. In some cases there are critical mismatches between the cycle for a predator species and its prey, which has major consequences for both and for the larger ecosystem.  A population may increase earlier than in the past, but its food source doesn’t necessarily match up with that.

Correlating sightings of right whales with copepod density

Correlating sightings of right whales with copepod density

Most notably, the Conference considered the impact of these diverse aspects of nature on people and vice versa. In every presentation or poster, one could see major ways in which human activity affects other aspects of nature.

Civic Intelligence

The Harbor Conference is a good example of how to improve what Doug Schuler calls civic intelligence, becoming more aware of the resources in our community, learning of its problems, finding ways to work together, and developing civic responsibility.

In any locality, civic intelligence is inseparable from the nature all around. But in Wellfleet this connection is more evident than in most. Every issue––transportation, affordable housing, employment, health care, fishing and shellfishing, waste management, history, and more––affects and is affected by our capacity to live sustainably. The harbor and the surrounding ocean, rivers, and uplands are deeply embedded with that.

There is a depressing theme through much of the Conference. The studies reported in detail on the many ways that humans damage the beautiful world we inhabit, through greenhouse gas emissions causing global heating and higher acidity, increased storm activity, and sea level rise. There is pollution of many kinds, black mayonnaise, and habitat destruction.

Mark Faherty offered a promising note for the horseshoe crab population. But even it has a downside: As the whelk population falls there will be less call on horseshoe crabs as bait, so that may help their recovery.

Nevertheless, it is inspiring to see the dedication of people trying to preserve what we can, and to learn so much about the ecology of the unique region of Wellfleet Harbor.

Maps for Learning

A striking feature of every presentation and poster was the use of maps. These included maps showing tidal flows, migration patterns, seasonal variations, sediment accumulation, human-made structures, and much more.

Maps of process and monitoring

Maps of process and monitoring

If we extend the idea of maps to visual displays of information, then it evident that even more maps were used. These included flowcharts for processes such as the one for adaptive management shown above, organization charts, and timelines for events in temporal sequences.

1887 Map of Wellfleet

1887 Map of Wellfleet

The maps are not only for communication of results. They are also a useful tool for the research itself. The most useful applications involved overlays of maps or comparisons of maps from different situations or times.

As an example, the population of horseshoe crabs could be compared with the management practices in a given area. Is the harvest restricted to avoiding the days around the new and full moon? Can they be harvested for medical purposes? For bait? The impact of different regulatory practices across time and place could easily be seen in graphical displays.

The Conference as a Site for Learning

You would find similar activities at many conferences. But the Harbor Conference stands out in terms of the cross-professional dialogue, the collaborative spirit among presenters and audience, and the ways that knowledge creation is so integrated with daily experience and action in the world.

This learning is not in a school or a university; there are no grades or certificates of completion. There are no “teachers” or “students” per se. However, by engaging with nature along with our fellow community members, conference attendees explore disciplines of history, statistics, politics, commerce, geology, biology, physics, chemistry, meteorology, oceanography, and more.

Nature itself is the curriculum guide. It is also the ultimate examiner.

[Note: This text is cross-posted on Chip’s Journey.]

Our E-Interview with AmeriCorps Member Celia Dávalos

A recent graduate of U. C. Berkeley, Celia Dávalos from Los Angeles County is the new AmeriCorps member assigned to the Wellfleet Conservation Trust and Conservation Commission.  We did the following e-mail interview to get to know more about her. 

What are some of your first impressions of Wellfleet?

Wellfleet so far has been very reminiscent of home to me; its people are very open and friendly like the folks in my hometown.  The natural beauty, however, is truly special and unique and I feel so fortunate that I get to serve here in my backyard because there is so much to see!

Any comparisons between Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean and beaches?

The beaches here on the opposite coast from what I’m used to are so neat because of how they seem so inconspicuous and tame compared to the Pacific Ocean waters. But, the two tides a day are something that will take getting used to and how close seals, sharks, whales and other marine animals come up so close to the shoreline!

What services you will be offering to the Conservation Commission and the Conservation Trust?

I will be serving alongside the Conservation Trust in a manner of performing inspections on Conservation lands and creating detailed maps using GPS and GIS.  Through the Health and Conservation Department, I get to travel with the Conservation Committee and learn from the members about new things I may not have been aware of before, and travel to beautiful sites throughout town!  I’ve been to nearly every pond in Wellfleet so far, most of the beaches, and some trails on Conservation Trust Lands.  Spectacle Pond is the most awe-striking to me of all the places I’ve visited.

What are some of the trails or places you’ve been to so far?

I’ve been to nearly every pond in Wellfleet so far, most of the beaches, and some trails on Conservation Trust Lands.  Spectacle Pond is the most awe-striking to me of all the places I’ve visited.

How are you doing with accommodations at the AmeriCorps house?

So far, I have loved having the opportunity to live in such a well-loved, historic, and traditionally New England home. We have a beautiful wood burning stove, and when I first arrived, I had never built a fire before in my life. Now, I build fires almost nightly in it for myself and my housemates to enjoy. 

Have you cooked for everyone yet?   If so, what did you make?

I have already cooked dinner for everyone in my house with my housemate Nick. We made sweet potato and black bean enchiladas which were a hit!

How did you like the Oyster Fest this past weekend?  Did you eat oysters?  Learn how to shuck shellfish?

I had a blast at Oyster Fest! There was beautiful weather all weekend, though Saturday was slightly overwhelming with the amount of people that showed up because of that! I was able to serve on both days, sorting recycling on Saturday and assisting with the Shuck and Run 5K on Sunday morning. I spent all of Sunday eating as many oysters as I could, hitting up 5 different vendors selling them! I still don’t know how to properly shuck an oyster, but I hope that by the end of my service term, that is a skill I leave the Cape with.

Are you looking forward to winter in New England and snow activities? 

Having lived in California all my life, I have never properly experienced all four seasons and the sound of winter on Cape Cod has been a bit daunting to me.  But, I have been given the same advice from different people: “layers!” I hope to get to experience snowfall for the first time and plan on fully embracing the cold winter months and participate in all the fun activities that there is to do! 

Tell us a little more about your experience of travelling to Cuba.

Travelling to Cuba for study abroad was so special mostly because it was my first time abroad in a new place all by myself, and the university program provided some remarkable opportunities. I was able to visit all the major cities of the island and traveled the entirety of the country. The people and seemingly untouched natural beauty of the places I got to experience are memories I reflect on often.

What were some of your favorite classes or teachers in high school, the community college and Berkeley?

Community college was where I completed all of my general education courses through an Honors track which allowed me to able to dip my toes in various subjects and get to know my professors and peers really well through the small class sizes. This was also where I solidified my choice in my major, so when I transferred to Berkeley to complete my degree, I took classes that were upper division and explorative. Berkeley was my dream school, and the academic experience was more prodigious than what I could have ever expected. Living in Berkeley was also the first time I had ever lived away from home, and experiencing the Bay area was complementary to my growing and learning experience.

Who or what have given you inspiration for conservation of the natural world?

Post-high school was really a time for me to experience some growing pains in the challenging of my thoughts and ideas of my then-scope of the world. From the people I have interacted with and the new ways in which I have experienced my world, I have a greater appreciation for the natural world and believe it should be something that everyone is consciously working to conserve and contribute to.

Did your family play a role in your interest in nature?    

My parents have raised my siblings and I to be curious and ask questions. My mother is an elementary school teacher/my personal hero and planted the seed in mine and my three younger siblings’ minds to love and appreciate our natural world.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?   In 10 years?

I had plans post-college graduation to serve in an AmeriCorps program but did not know about the Cape Cod placement until a few months before the application opened.  I am so excited to be here, learn as much as I can and be present during the rest of these nine months.  I have plans to someday return to school and pursue a law degree, but who’s to say what will actually happen!

Welcome, Celia!  We can’t wait to see what will happen during your year in Wellfleet.