HOUGHTON – Three Houghton High School seniors attended the recent Lake Superior Youth Symposium in Ashland, Wisconsin, this past weekend and shared their experiences of the three-day event.
Josie Ledgerwood, who will attend Michigan Tech to study natural resources, said the sessions of the first day of the three-day event were educational-based, which prepared participants for the field trips of the second day.
After graduating from Michigan Tech, Ledgerwood said her plans are to join the Peace Corps before attending graduate school.
“I eventually want to be an environmental lawyer,” Ledgerwood said.
Addie Huckins said on the first day there were many speakers discussing several topics.
“They’ll go through informational sessions and give you sort of an informational base about their experiences, and the second day is a very long field trip,” Huckins said. “You’ll spend the majority of the day doing one or more specific things.”
During the field trip portion of the symposium, Huckins’ group visited tribal protected lands that were open to the public.
“They got a conservation easement on it and built a trail system,” she said. “It was still tribal land, but people could walk their dogs, they could bike, they could do all of that.”
Her group then visited a tribal fishery, where they were given a new insight to hunters and fishers overlapping with the tribe, “and how the conservation bubble goes over all of that,” she said. Huckins said she will work toward a degree in human ecology with a focus on marine science at the College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, Maine, in the fall.
Sal Sharp said the symposium was a valuable experience, because it provided an opportunity to study topics and locations outside the local area.
“It’s kind of fun because you’re in a different location, and you meet a bunch of like-minded people who are really interested in the same types of things that you are, like conservation and habitat restoration and things like that,” Sharp said. “You attend these sessions with mostly Northland College professors who are talking about the types of things they teach and problems and diagnosing issues in this world and stuff like that.”
Sharp said on the second day, the participants applied the skills and information learned at the presentations of the first day. An added educational benefit was that they could talk to experts such as fish biologists and fish hatchery staff.
“You learn hands-on, and then you can go back and reflect on those things on the third day,” Sharp said.
Sharp has been accepted to Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, where he will study environmental studies.