Landmark is the groundbreaking project that ASC has undertaken in conjunction with American Prairie Reserve (APR) to provide "boots on the ground" support for the conservation management team at APR. Landmark crews consist of six highly motivated and skilled outdoors men and women who will leave and work on the Reserve for a month at a time, collecting valuable data that will directly influence conservation management on APR.
May marks the beginning of the summer season up on the Northern Great Plains (regardless of how the weather may disagree) and it also marks the migration from the relative comfort of Landmark winter HQ at the Lazy J Ranch to the newly established Landmark field camp. This month we have a few familiar faces and a few new crew members. Meet them below:
Craig Weiland is a mountaineer from Seattle, Washington who loves to get off the beaten path frequently hiking and climbing in remote areas of the Pacific Northwest. Craig has been an ambassador for ASC collecting samples for our diatoms project all over the PNW and participating in ASC’s Pacific marten project in the Olympic National Forest. He even has a species named after him: Encyonopsis weilandii. Now Craig is exploring a new frontier in the Northern Great Plains by joining the May Landmark crew.
Katie Birch is a Colorado native and graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and has worked for the City of Steamboat Springs and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environmental Water Quality. She has conducted fieldwork on Rio Grande cutthroat trout and volunteered on water engineering projects in Uganda. Katie is looking forward to expanding her fieldwork experience with a month on the prairie.
Kayli Mellencamp grew up in Indiana and works in early-childhood education. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Education. Her senseof adventure is reflected in the mode of transport that she took to get to the Malta…a 20 plus hour Amtrak ride from Chicago! Kayli is an avid rock climber and when not teaching children she can be found working in her local climbing gym. Kayli’s love for the outdoors and interest in the social dimension of conservation motivates her to commit to a month on the Landmark crew. Kayli likes to rock climb, read, and conduct ancestral research to make a connection to John Cougar Mellencamp in her spare time.
Kelsey Noah grew up on a small farm in Northern Michigan riding horses and rehabilitating wildlife. Kelsey spent time in college studying marine biology on the shores of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland and Yellow Spotted Salamanders in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She also spent a summer exploring the backcountry of Yellowstone before graduating with a BS in Biology and moving to Glacier National Park to be a backcountry horseback guide. Kelsey is now looking to get field experience in wildlife and environmental conservation and looking forward to the adventures it will bring.
Matt Howe grew up in Indiana and works at an indoor rock climbing gym. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English and a minor in Creative Writing. His sense of adventure and love for the outdoors can be attributed to summers spent at Camp Palawopec where he has served as the camp's co-director. Matt fell in love with the West during a cross-country roadtrip which prompted him to work on an organic farm in Washington. This experience instilled in him a respect for the western landscape, its resident creatures, and the sweet-spicy smell of sagebrush. Matt likes to mountain bike, cave, rock climb, read, play music, and care for his ‘99 Subaru Forester.
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