Meet the MNA Staff: Adrienne Bozic

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.

MNA's Regional Stewardship Organizer for the Eastern Upper Peninsula

Adrienne Bozic, MNA’s Regional Stewardship Organizer for the Eastern Upper Peninsula

Adrienne has been on the MNA staff for two years and first worked as a contractor. She was a volunteer and steward for some time before joining the staff. Adrienne oversees all of the Upper Peninsula sanctuaries from Baraga County to Chippewa County, where she coordinates and conducts sanctuary maintenance and monitoring, writes and executes management plans for each sanctuary, performs plant and animal surveys, organizes and recruits volunteers, collaborates with partner organizations, and acts as an ambassador for MNA throughout the Upper Peninsula.

Adrienne comes from a long line of outdoors people and found her interest in the environment while leading nature walks for children in her neighborhood. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental interpretation and worked for 15 years in a number of field jobs in environmental science and conservation. She eventually conducted plant surveys at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and completed her master’s degree in biology.

We sent Adrienne a few questions to learn a little more about her experiences at MNA. Check out her responses below!

Q: What is your favorite part about being a regional stewardship organizer?

A: Getting to work in all of the U.P.’s varied landscapes and habitats, the opportunity to spend time with some of Michigan’s most rare and threatened species, and the relationships I’ve developed with many of MNA’s outstanding volunteers and members. And believing that I am making a direct contribution to the conservation of native landscapes and biodiversity.

Q: What is your favorite Michigan species (flora or fauna) and why?

A: I don’t tend to think that way, so I don’t have an answer to that question! I love them all. Except the noxious non-native ones that threaten native ecosystems. I did my master’s research on some of Michigan’s rare native orchids, so I do have a special affinity for them.

Q: If you could be any species (Michigan native or not), what would you be and why?

A: Um, maybe a wood duck? I could walk, swim and fly, and live in a tree. Then again, maybe I’d prefer to be a non-game species.

Meet the MNA Staff: Katherine Hollins

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.

Katherine Hollins, regional stewardship organizer for the eastern Lower Peninsula. Photo by Kurt Jung.

Katherine Hollins, regional stewardship organizer for the eastern Lower Peninsula. Photo by Kurt Jung.

Katherine Hollins, the regional stewardship organizer for the eastern Lower Peninsula, has been with MNA for three years and oversees 60 sanctuaries in the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula. Her primary duties involve volunteer coordination and land management, but she also spends a lot of time working on removing invasive species—and getting volunteers to help her do it. On top of all that, Katherine conducts plant surveys, monitors sanctuaries, clears trails, marks boundaries, writes management plans, leading hikes, helps with prescribed burns, and conducts outreach to neighbors and communities surrounding some of MNA’s sanctuaries.

Katherine received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, but found that the jobs that most interested her involved the environment. She worked for the Student Conservation Association before joining the MNA staff and has a master’s degree in natural resources and the environment.

We sent Katherine a few questions to learn a little more about her experiences at MNA. Check out her responses below!

Q: What is your favorite part about being a regional stewardship organizer?

A: I love all of the people I get to work with – staff and volunteers. I get to learn from everyone and hear their stories. I also really enjoy getting out to see some of Michigan’s most beautiful spots… spending time outside during every season of the year has really opened my eyes to the wide variety of beauty out there.

Q: What is your favorite Michigan species (flora or fauna) and why?

A: This is an impossible question. However, if I have to pick one, I might choose the tamarack. They are beautiful trees, and pretty unique in that they lose their needles in the fall. Then when the new needles grow in the spring, they are an incredible bright green and feathery soft. They also tend to grow in neat places with other interesting plants… so they keep good company.

Q: If you could be any species (Michigan native or not), what would you be and why?

A: If I’m not a tamarack, I might like to be a spotted turtle. I think it sounds pretty nice to hang out around nice pools and marshy areas, swimming around and basking in the sun all day.

Meet the MNA Staff: Matt Schultz

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 S. 2 - 2011 Spring Adventure - Kurt Jung

Matt Schultz, regional stewardship organizer for the western Lower Peninsula. Photo by Kurt Jung.

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.