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Earth Team Volunteer Digs into Conservation this Summer in Vermont

Vicki got a chance to really dig into the work of the agency this summer during an archaeological dig at Vermont's Intervale.by Amy Overstreet, Public Affairs Specialist and Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator 

Vicki Shepard is a lifelong resident of Brandon, Vermont. The 48-year old works full time as a manager for a local grocery store while at the same time earning her associates degree in Environmental Science from Community College of Vermont. One of her degree requirements is to gain hands-on experience in her field of study by completing an internship. When her professor told her about the mission of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Vicky was definitely interested. And now, thanks to NRCS’ Earth Team volunteer program, she satisfied her internship requirement by spending the summer as a conservation volunteer in the Middlebury, Vermont field office.

From digging pits to search for Native American stone tools and other artifacts at a high tunnel site to conducting engineering survey work on farms, Vicki was exposed to a wide diversity of activities and professions within the agency. Soil Conservationist Timothy McCoy worked with her. “I felt like we offered her a multi-faceted experience this summer and it even helped me view our work from a different perspective because she showed such genuine interest and enthusiasm,” he said. “It helped me see my job through a different lens.” And McCoy speaks from experience. He started his career with the agency as an Earth Team volunteer! NRCS Soil Conservationist Sarah Janson also worked closely with Vicki this summer and said, “It’s been great having her work with us this summer. She asks great questions which often brings out the crux of the issue.” The field office staff agreed that Vicki’s assistance and her fresh perspective helped the team get more work accomplished during her service.

As the summer comes to an end and her graduation approaches, Vicki is completing her volunteer service, but she’s already looking ahead to obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. “Everyone that I have met through NRCS has been so friendly and helpful and they have taught me so much,” she said. “The mission of the agency is really important and I’ve been thrilled to be a part of that as a volunteer.”

Vermont NRCS thanks Vicki for her dedication as a volunteer and we wish her the best in her future endeavors!

Vicki Shepard participated in an archeological dig this summer at Vermont's Intervale Community Farm. She worked side by side with NRCS Soil Conservationist Tim McCoy who started his career with the agency as an Earth Team VolunteerVicki got a chance to really dig into the work of the agency this summer during an archaeological dig at Vermont's Intervale.