Jessica Zimmerman Bio

When I was eleven years old, I hadn’t really put much thought into how directly my actions affected the environment. This life-changing connection was spurred by my first adventure to the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness, and it was made glaringly obvious. For a week, the crew and I were without access to common amenities, such as running water and electricity. With the disconnect between people and the environment absent, I was forced to think about where my water came from and what I actually needed.

As I got older, I wanted to better communicate environmental issues to people. I thought if they just knew that their own wellbeing was so directly dependent on the health of the entire land community, we wouldn’t consume so much or treat the planet and the rest of the world with such disregard. Graduating from a college seemed like a good starting point to gain at least some degree of credibility, if I wanted to address sensitive environmental and social problems.

In my search for a job as I was coming to the end of my senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, I found myself stuck. I finished my college education, but the hiring outlook was bleak. I didn’t have enough experience or the “right” kind of education for many jobs. Ultimately, my background in environmental studies and sociology left me feeling the weight of the world’s problems without much direction in the way of combating them.

In the summer of 2011, I was a part of my first SCA crew that conducted campsite inventories in the backcountry of various wilderness areas in the Pacific Northwest. The SCA allowed me to further my education outside of the classroom and do work that I felt to be meaningful. I got hands on experience that not only allowed me to hike for four months, but it also gave me the chance to think about the places I wanted to protect, which has led me back to the often underappreciated Midwest. I am excited to work with my native plants corps team at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for my first Project Leader experience!

When I was eleven years old, I hadn’t really put much thought into how directly my actions affected the environment. This life-changing connection was spurred by my first adventure to the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness, and it was made glaringly obvious. For a week, the crew and I were without access to common amenities, such as running water and electricity. With the disconnect between people and the environment absent, I was forced to think about where my water came from and what I actually needed.

As I got older, I wanted to better communicate environmental issues to people. I thought if they just knew that their own wellbeing was so directly dependent on the health of the entire land community, we wouldn’t consume so much or treat the planet and the rest of the world with such disregard. Graduating from a college seemed like a good starting point to gain at least some degree of credibility, if I wanted to address sensitive environmental and social problems.

In my search for a job as I was coming to the end of my senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, I found myself stuck. I finished my college education, but the hiring outlook was bleak. I didn’t have enough experience or the “right” kind of education for many jobs. Ultimately, my background in environmental studies and sociology left me feeling the weight of the world’s problems without much direction in the way of combating them.

In the summer of 2011, I was a part of my first SCA crew that conducted campsite inventories in the backcountry of various wilderness areas in the Pacific Northwest. The SCA allowed me to further my education outside of the classroom and do work that I felt to be meaningful. I got hands on experience that not only allowed me to hike for four months, but it also gave me the chance to think about the places I wanted to protect, which has led me back to the often underappreciated Midwest. I am excited to work with my native plants corps team at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for my first Project Leader experience!