Zack Hovis, 2018 Cohort
Before getting accepted into MES, I graduated from The Evergreen State College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 2015 focusing on ecology, hydrology, and arthropology. Following this, I worked as an arthropology technician for the Pacific Northwest Research Station at Mount St. Helens identifying and sorting out insects and spiders from pitfall trap samples all across the north slope of the volcano. After that, I worked for the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) for two years doing restoration and trail work. In that time, I expanded my professional career by learning a great deal about restoration practice and theory, herbicide application, and trail operations.
My time in the WCC galvanized me into wanting to learn more about restoration and land management. Evergreen’s Master of Environmental Studies seemed to be an excellent match, considering that I graduated with my Bachelor's from there.
Relevant to my experience at Mount St. Helens and in the WCC, for my thesis I am working on developing a way to use arthropods as a tool for determining the effectiveness of restoration in Washington prairies. Specifically, how arthropod (such as insects and spiders) communities are affected by the presence of native or invasive vegetation. After I graduate, I intend to continue this line of work as a part of restoration land management.