Welcome back to the 2012 SCA CWPP Team Blog. There has been a lot happening since our last update after the conclusion of District 12 exactly two months ago. We got off to a great start in District 2 (D2) with Alleghany County. For this district each member of the team would act as the county leader whose responsibilities included organizing the schedule, delegating tasks, and contacting the NCFS county ranger. We started with a meeting with district rangers Brent Triplett and Hunter Birckhead to talk about our approach and schedule for tackling the D2 CWPPs.
First, Alex led Alleghany County and worked with County Ranger, Brandon Keener, who was extremely helpful getting us data and setting up interviews. After we finished entering the data and making the maps, we prepared for an overnight camping trip to complete the second interviews in one trip and get some outdoor time at the New River Campground.
Next, Clare was in charge of Wilkes County and had the pleasure of working with County Ranger, Michael Crouse. He had done more individual work on the CWPPs than any other ranger and was very knowledgeable yet had a ‘my way or the highway’ type attitude during the first interview. After the interview, we discussed our different methods and found a middle ground that we both agreed would work. The highlight of CWPPs in Wilkes County was a barbeque chicken dinner at Pleasant Hill Volunteer Fire Department. It was a pleasant surprise indeed!
Midway through work in Wilkes, we had the opportunity to do public outreach tabling at the Mountain State Fair in Buncombe County to spread awareness of the Student Conservation Association and our project with the North Carolina Forest Service. We gave out information to over 350 people and Clare got to be the voice of a 30-foot inflatable Smokey Bear! After the State Fair, we took our S-130/S-190: Wildland Fire Fighting written test. We all passed the written test and were one step closer to becoming Wildland Firefighter Certified!
Halfway through September we started Ashe County. Jenna was the County Leader working with Ranger, Anthony Farmer. He was a good ole country boy that did it all from ranching cattle to fighting fire. He kept the work mood light and told us funny stories about the other rangers growing up. We powered through the county just as we had done with Alleghany and Wilkes since we were on a roll from the experience we had gained in D12.
Before starting the last county, we took a recreation trip to Cades Cove in the Great Smokey Mountains, TN. We took a nice hike out to Abraham’s Falls and were warned by many groups that there was bears sighted in the area, but did not get to see any unfortunately. The next day we enjoyed an 11-mile bike ride on the loop. The views were amazing and the historic sites along the way were remarkable. The day after returning from TN, Jenna, Mike, and Clare went on Wildland fire training with D3 and D2 of the NCFS. The three helped construct fire lines and ended the day with grilling steaks with some of their favorite forest rangers.
Moving into Watauga, our last county, Mike took the reins as County Leader working with Brent Triplett. Watauga had been without a County Ranger until recently so Brent took it upon himself to aid us with our interviews and data. We decided to conduct all the interviews and assessments in one fell swoop and planned a four-day, three-night camping trip. We split up into different groups each day to switch up who would work on interviews and database work so the routine was not repetitive. Unfortunately, the weather was an issue the first night with rain and the last night with cold. We did get to enjoy one night of camping at the Julian Price Campground. We also went out to celebrate being done with interviews and assessments at the end of the hitch, enjoying good food and great company at a local Boone restaurant.
At this venture of our journey, we are starting to wrap things up on the work end. We are spending the week in the office finishing up Watauga and planning our second interviews for Ashe county. With the season coming to a close, we have also started writing our final report. Our goal is to finish the final draft by the second of November to have a week and a half to clean up our apartment and say farewell to our agency partners and each other. Finally, we are hoping to invite the people we’ve worked with to a barbeque to celebrate and thank them for helping us throughout the project. Last night we decided that it could be catered by Fat Boys of Mooresville, where we really got our project rolling once Danny B introduced us to the $5 all-you-can-eat BBQ lunch buffet. It would be a fitting end to an enjoyable and rewarding project!
By: Michael Marchetti
Hellllllllllllllllo Everybody!!!! Guess what?! The CWPP team is finally done compiling reports for District 12! Wahoo! After three grueling months during the dog days of summer, we have interviewed, drove, assessed, entered data, and made the dopest maps “at the same same time” that any North Carolina Forest Service rep. has ever seen. Our maps are so awesome even a fire wouldn’t dare burn them to ashes, because it's impossible! No liiiiiiiiiieeeeeee (Drake voice). Well that probably is a lie, but we’ve put so much work into this project it is ridiculous. Here on the CWPP team, we like to think of ourselves like Destiny’s Child, in that we cater to our district rangers instead of our significant others. Except instead of fixing their doo-rags, running their baths or fixing their cufflinks we provide them with maps, assessments, and perfect reports. We’re so good at what we do that the county district rangers are always asking if they can get a refill of our good work, positive attitudes and attention to details.
The completion of District 12 is pretty bittersweet. Bitter in the sense that we don’t get to hang out with a district ranger named Pink Floyd and his assistant Danny- who not only provided us with a television to watch movies on, but also provided us with his vast knowledge of fast food places you can only experience in the Carolinas. Never did we ever think one could purchase an entrée, a drink and, not one, but TWO corndogs and sides for $5.00. We knew when we saw Danny it was always BO’ Time. He was also one of the most helpful rangers by showing us around our new home of Statesville, NC and always offering us help whenever we needed it. We’ll also miss Eddie, the district ranger from Mecklenburg County, who could always get the interviews flowing with the fire departments with ease. We would ask questions calmly, and sometimes not get a response, but then bolstering Eddie would come in and say “IF YOU HAD A FIRE RIGHT HERE, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?!!” The response of the fire chiefs was amazing. Eddie is just one of those people you have to respond to because he’s just that awesome.
Leaving District 12 is sweet in the sense that we don’t have to sit through rush hour Charlotte traffic anymore and venture through modern suburbia. Fortunately for this team, we don’t get road rage, instead we ROAD RAGE! A.K.A. jam out to sweet tunes provided by Power 98, Charlotte’s number one for blazing hip-hop and R&B. It also just feels good to complete a district and know that we provided these fire districts with a little bit more information in case a major wildfire does strike in the area. It’s also good to know that these reports may provide much needed funding to some of these fire departments, who could use the extra equipment. It always feels good to work really hard on a project, complete it, and then get positive feedback.
Now we are off to the land of mountains, fresh air and thiiiiiick country accents in District 2. Sorry, District 12, we are cashing out. The CWPP team is geared up to take on the wilder side of North Carolina and boy, are we excited! Like many rappers we have heard on Power 98, Charlotte’s number one for blazing hip-hop and R&B, CHUUURRRRRCHHH!!! PREACH!
Alex and Marchetti saw a dump truck of raw rotisserie chickens dumped in the middle of a major road in Monroe, NC. It was crazy and smelled terrible. Just thought you all should know.
Season 1, Episode 2 
By: Jenna Rooker
After dedicating the majority of the past two months to assessing the counties and fire stations in district twelve of North Carolina, our team is now focusing on organizing and completing the individual Community Wildfire Protection Plan reports and maps for the district, and conducting second interviews to ensure that all of the information we have documented is accurate and complete. To help accomplish this task, we met with “Killer” at the North Carolina Forest Service Office in Asheville. He is the CWPP assistant coordinator, he went over our Access database for Iredell County with us in detail and helped clarify any lingering questions we had about relaying the brass tacks we obtained from initial interviews. He also coached us through completing and printing the large, plotter maps for the Iredell County Fire Departments. We left the office with enhanced clarity on the project and the following steps we would need to take to keep it rolling.
We recently completed second interviews with our home base, Iredell County, and found the follow-up interviews helped to establish improved feelings of accomplishment within the team. We have also been enjoying the opportunity to reminisce about the different areas and experiences we have had while traveling across Iredell County by revisiting all of the fire districts. As we take the final steps to put our stamp of completion on our first county, we get a sense that we will be able to hammer out the remaining Mecklenburg, Union, and Cabarrus county details in a timely fashion to conclude our time in District twelve. We look forward to traveling up to the Northwest portion of North Carolina to work in the mountains of District two.
Season 1, Episode 1 
By: Clare Price
As the end of June approaches, it is difficult to believe that we, the members of the CWPP Conservation Corp in North Carolina, are already over one sixth of the way through with our assignment. Upon arriving in North Carolina, we set up housing and our home office and then set off to South Dakota for SCA training. Not only was training great for learning more about SCA policies and projects, but we were also able to visit Mount Rushmore and experience snow in May, which was met with both delight and confusion. Upon our return from South Dakota, we have been going non-stop, from site training to conducting fire department interviews to exploring Iredell County during our assessments. Additionally, we have all been able to explore our base of Statesville, NC and the surrounding areas, as well as plan our group and individual service projects.
After arriving back in North Carolina, we received additional on-site training by the North Carolina Forest Service, our agency partner for the CWPP project. After arriving from South Dakota early that morning, and consuming endless amounts of caffeine, training helped everyone have a better grasp on our project. By the end of the week, we were ready to begin our Community Wildfire Protection Plans in Iredell County. We spent a little more than a week assessing wildfire risk in Iredell County. The assessments began with interviewing local fire department representatives about basic fire station information as well as questions specific to wildfire protection, preparedness, and prevention. After interviews were conducted, areas of wildfire concern were assessed. When we were not out assessing these areas of concern with our agency representative, we worked on inputting data and getting accustomed to the database interface.
With Iredell County done, we embarked onto our next county: Mecklenburg. The assessments are the same process as with Iredell County, but Mecklenburg faced its own challenges, such as navigating through the suburbs of Charlotte. We learned that through the incredible power of CWPP teamwork, nothing was out of reach. With our trusty maps and GPS, we have continued to make it back to our base in Statesville without getting too lost. With Mecklenburg County almost complete, we will continue assessing North Carolina. Stay tuned for all the juicy details on Union County, NC.
Michael Marchetti 
Hey everyone! My name is Michael Marchetti and I am from Ellicott City, Maryland which is just about 20 minutes west of Baltimore. Since 2010 I have been interning with the SCA Corps teams and loved every experience it provided me. I started out as a Desert Restoration Intern with the Rands Mountains Team where we literally planted dead plants to prevent off-highway vehicles from creating illegal trails. I then participated on one of the coolest teams ever, the Tour 40 Team. I got to travel across the country to 25 cities with 6 other people in one 40 foot RV and put on a conservation project at each destination. We were also on a billboard in Times Square! ( Never though conservation would end up there eh?) Three days later I then switched gears and scurried down south to participate in the Florida National Scenic Trail Corps Team where I got to work with some dedicated volunteers as well as come acros the greatest tool ever, the suwannee sling!
SCA has given me two of the best years of my life from their corps programs that I kind of forgot to mention I graduated from Ohio University in 2010 with a B.S. in Geography. That’s kind of a big deal right? Anyways, I look forward to working in a close team setting with a new group of people and looking to make new memories in another foreign place.
Jenna Rooker 
Hello, my name is Jenna Rooker. I grew up on the East coast of Central Florida, close to the space program, and I have lived there my whole life. I attended the University of Central Florida where I graduated with my B.S. in Environmental Studies. Two weeks after graduation, I’m joining the SCA on the Community Wildfire Protection Plan team in North Carolina. I have worked at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for four years as a crewmember. I am passionate about animals, and horses in particular. I also enjoy spending time at the beach, reading, riding, hiking, cooking, fishing and quality time with good people. My horse and my dog are the most wonderful creatures and a huge part of my life.
Alex Wong 
My name in Alex Wong and I was born in Los Angeles, California. After moving to Miller Place, New York when I was one year old, I had a great childhood playing with my older sister, Christina, and friends from around the neighborhood. I was quiet and friendly through middle school, but broke out of my shell in high school playing music in a band with my friends and becoming captain of the tennis team my senior year. I spent my summers as a lifeguard for a community pool. College was a transformation period for me, as I switched from majoring in business to geography after realizing conservation was a strong passion of mine. During my junior year, my mother retired from being a nursing supervisor and my father continued his work as a medical researcher for Brookhaven National Laboratory. I graduated with a major in geography and three minors in environmental studies, urban studies, and sociology. Directly after school I joined the SCA as a Sonoran Pronghorn Intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. This was an amazing experience through which I learned a lot about how government agencies worked together, experienced living in a completely new type of environment, and gained valuable office and field skills. I am eager to begin working with a team on the CWPP for North Carolina and having another memorable experience doing so over the next six months.
My name is Clare Price, a student at Penn State University. Since 2009, I have been an undergraduate in the Department of Geography. The primary focus of my studies is cartography, particularly design and evaluation. I am a member of Gamma Theta Upsilon and have recently begun interning at the Gould Center at University Park.
Along with my academic interests in geography, I also enjoy knitting and fiber arts. It is an amazing feeling being able to create wearable art out of string and two needles. I have even been able to use this passion to create a small business creating custom knitting projects and patterns for sale. Other interests of mine include traveling, learning languages (eu falou Portuguese), wandering around museums and hiking.
Sarah was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She first joined SCA in 2007 when she interned at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park as an environmental educator. In 2009, she worked as a Fire Prevention Intern at the San Carlos Apache Reservation, where she received her wildland fire red card certification and had many enriching experiences, both on and off the reservation. She continued to broaden her SCA experiences in Pittsburgh where she went to college. In college, she maintained several SCA positions with the Pittsburgh office, including Trailblazer Leader, Conservation Leadership Corps Leader, and 2 consecutive summers as a Summer City Crew Leader.
She graduated in 2010 from Chatham University with a degree in Environmental Science. She was the vice president of her University’s environmental club. In 2009, she traveled abroad to Belize and Guatemala to study the rainforest biology and the ancient Mayan ruins. Her highest accomplishment was completing her college tutorial, Mapping and Surveying Community Gardens in Pittsburgh, skillfully integrating GPS and GIS to provide maps of community gardens for the city of Pittsburgh.
In 2011, she moved to a sustainable urban homestead located in Asheville, NC and worked on a sustainable farm in Leicester, NC. On the farm she cultivated organic vegetables, sold produce at local markets, and fed/milked livestock.
Her hobbies include biking, yoga, making people laugh, cooking, traveling, gardening, camping, reading and hiking.