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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Lake Shabbona, Illinois, USA

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Lake Shabbona, Illinois, USA
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Registered: December 2012
City/Town/Province: Saint Charles
Posts: 1
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May 22, 2012
One Gill to the Next

Parts of the tall grass lands were dry and irritating to the flesh as if they had been sitting in the Sahara desert for centuries. It was hot and humid, and there was no chance of rain at Lake Shabbona; a 300 acre man-made lake. The lake looked like polished glass reflecting the sun’s light off of the wave peaks. Fishing would be exceptional, but I was here to do something more important. As I started walking toward the wide stream below the dam, with my heavy waders and huge fishing net in both of my hands, the Department of Natural Resources personnel and several other volunteers were getting ready with coolers, filling them with water. Over the years, the excessive rain fall causes the lake to rise and the water and the muskie to flow over the dam getting trapped in this small stream. The shallow and murky stream is not their natural habitat, and their food source-suckers, shiners, and other small fish-is immensely diminished. Not having enough food would cause them to slowly starve and die off. Consequently, there was the need to rescue muskie from a stream below the dam and transport them back to the lake.
This task was my chance to experience life as an environmentalist, to really see if I would enjoy this profession in the future. This was also my chance to make a big difference to helpless fish and create balance in the environment. John Muir once said “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” The balance between nature and man’s actions is delicate. Therefore, whether the action is small or large, in relation to nature, there will be an impact. That impact is evident in our world today and will be evident in the world for future generations to inherit. Through my eyes when I look at the world, I see helpless animals losing their habitats to deforestation, oil spills causing birds and fish to die, and public parks being littered with household trash. These are the “tugs” that motivate me to implement my leadership skills by identifying a need and enacting solution as an environmentalist who will pursue a balance between nature and man’s actions.
Based on these views and beliefs, it is important to me that a college has a strong environmental science program that offers opportunities for internships, field studies with hands-on experience, knowledgeable professors, and career placement. Such educational opportunities afford me as an environmentalism major to tug at nature and the rest of the world.
Date: December 22, 2012 Views: 5527 File size: 23.7kb, 753.9kb : 1600 x 1200
Hours Volunteered: 60
Volunteers: 20
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 15 to 50
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