The third annual cohort of Junior Conservation Technicians (JCTs) has touched down at the Green Mountain Audubon Center and is ready to make a difference. Twelve highschoolers from all around Vermont recently spent a weekend orienting themselves with the forests, meadows, rivers, and people they will be working with for the next five months. During the two-day orientation, JCTs got to know each other through nature-themed games, building fires, and wildlife tracking. Together, they explored the trails they will steward and the sugarbush they will tap.
This year’s JCTs come to Audubon with a diverse set of passions and motivations. When asked why they were excited about the program, there was no one answer. Whether they want to “learn more about conservation”, “do meaningful work”, or “better understand the wildlife in Vermont”, there is one commonality: a love for the outdoors. During weekends, school breaks, and summer vacation, the JCTs will come together to work on a multitude of conservation, environmental education, carpentry, and restoration projects. They will work alongside experts as they learn how to carry out Bird-Friendly Maple assessments, monitor Peregrine Falcons, band birds, remove invasive species, and more. As the JCTs work together to develop transferable skills, they will gain a firsthand look at what it is like to work in the environmental sector. By bringing their love and curiosity for the outdoors, they will leave with a deeper understanding of the natural world and how they can continue to be environmental stewards in their own communities.
The JCT Program is a part of a larger initiative to engage youth in conservation actions and expose them to careers in the environmental sector. To learn more about the Junior Conservation Technician Program, visit our page: https://vt.audubon.org/conservation/JCT