By Annie Perry, MNA Intern
MNA’s staff is full of people committed to protecting Michigan’s natural habitats. In addition to stewards and volunteers that help manage the sanctuaries, MNA has a group of regional stewardship organizers that oversee the volunteers and organize stewardship projects. Our three regional stewardship organizers are Adrienne Bozic, Katherine Hollins and Matt Schultz.
Matt became an MNA steward in 2007. After finishing his master’s degree in sustainable development and conservation biology, Matt moved to Michigan with his girlfriend (now wife), who was completing a Ph.D. at Michigan State University. He looked for organizations to volunteer or work with, and found MNA. Matt joined the staff after serving as a volunteer and steward for three years.
Matt is now the regional stewardship organizer for the western Lower Peninsula and works with 58 sanctuaries in the western Lower Peninsula and Lenawee, Hillsdale and Jackson Counties. His duties involve engaging MNA volunteers, managing restoration activities at the sanctuaries, monitoring the sanctuaries and overseeing stewards. In addition, he does a bit of grant writing and is on the burn crew.
We sent Matt a few questions to learn a little more about himself and his experiences at MNA. Check out his responses below!
Q: What is your favorite part about being a regional stewardship organizer?
A: I like to be out in the field, but not every day. I’m happy to engage in conservation work and to be doing hands-on things to protect rare species and natural communities.
Q: What is your favorite Michigan species?
A: I like the Pitcher’s thistle. It’s pretty and not spiny for a thistle. Plus it’s a Great Lakes endemic and while not very common, not so rare that you never see it.
Q: If you could be any species, what would you be?
A: I’d like to be a tree. I’d live a long time and see the same place change slowly over time. Maybe burr oak because the acorns are cool.