Ryan Ledden

Being unsure of what direction to take with regard to my studies in college, I immersed myself in a wide variety of classes. Upon taking my first Introductory Political Science class, I knew that I had stumbled upon something I could sink my teeth into. At the end of that semester I decided to declare a major in Political Science. The following semester I was introduced to the challenges surrounding environmental policy, energy, and sustainable development. This very quickly became an area of special interest and over the next few years I took as many classes pertaining to environmental issues as my degree would allow. I began to work with my academic advisor on extracurricular projects building towers and recording wind data for small scale wind turbines for various sites across southern New Jersey. Additionally, I became a skilled backpacker and undertook a Wilderness Survival Skills course to develop my back-country knowledge further. I was also able to spend several weeks in Yellowstone National Park during the summer of 2010 meeting with park officials and locals alike to discuss the challenges of managing natural resources. In my studies and extracurricular opportunities I found a deep seeded love for the environment and a devotion to expanding my understanding of modern issues. As graduation from the college drew closer I began applying for and was introduced to the SCA and the many opportunities for experience they had to offer. I accepted a position with the SCA as a Visitor Use Survey Intern for Parks managed by the Army Corps of Engineers in Northern Georgia for the summer of 2012. During SCA training for this position, I was introduced to the DRC and the opportunities it held. As soon as I returned from training, I put in my application for the Desert Restoration Corps, and in early July I accepted my position into the DRC for the 2012-2013 season. I look forward to the chance to participate in hands on restoration work in the coming season.