MCC Member Profiles

Meet a few of the Maryland Conservation Corps’ Current Members and Alumni

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Gaby ElliottGabrielle (Gaby) Elliott
Home State: Pennsylvania
Service Location: Patapsco Valley State Park
(2018-2019

Joining MCC was important to me because:

I wanted to get on-the-ground, personal, hands-on experience with conservation work before moving on to more abstract environmental fields. I joined MCC because I trusted that the program would diversify my skill set, expand my network, and help solidify my future goals.

Career/Future Goals:

After MCC I plan on securing a full-time job within the environmental field, hopefully involving both field work and data analysis/mapping. I hope to work while attending grad school and eventually obtain a Master’s Degree in environmental science or a related field.

What I enjoy most about MCC:

It continues to surprise me how diverse in background, aspiration, and skills the members of my crew are. I am continually impressed by the strengths each of us possess as individuals, as well as by the magnitude of what we are capable of accomplishing together. I love that in this program, we all get to learn from, and better each other, and I suspect that the connections we’ve made will far outlast these 10 short months of service.


Jack GreenJohn (Jack) Green
Home State: Maryland
Service Location: Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary
(2018-2019)

Joining MCC was important to me because:

I really wanted to get more experience working with the Maryland Park Service and Department of Natural Resources to see the variety of duties the employees perform. I also looked forward to the many trainings that will help me in any career choice.

Career/Future Goals:

I’m not sure whether I want to be a USFWS Wildlife Officer, an outdoor educator, National Guardsman, or a park ranger, but I guarantee that I’ll have a job working in nature and spreading my passion.

What I enjoy most about MCC:

Throughout the year, I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the people that have a similar passion and drive that I do. It’s a ton of fun working together on such a wide variety of jobs and it’s just an amazing program!


Katie HainesKatie Haines
Home State: Maryland
Service Location: Deep Creek Lake State Park
(2017-2018, 2018-2019)

Joining MCC was important to me because:

I needed some direction with where I want to go with my career. MCC has provided valuable experiences in a variety of different projects within the field of conservation that have allowed me to narrow in on my specific research and career interests.

Career/Future Goals:

I would like to either work for the Patuxent Bird Banding Lab, as an avian field technician, as a certified bird bander, or something else in the realm of birds!

What I enjoy most about MCC:

The personal relationships you build with your crew members; the sweaty days when you’re all exhausted and can’t wait for that cold shower after work; the breath-taking views of places you never thought you’d end up; the early mornings of birding and seeing a bear run across the path; the chilly, frost-bitten days when it's just you and your crew enjoying the silence of the park as you’re all slowly warming up with the sun; and the park staff you have come so close to. There are so many moments that I’m going to miss when the year is over!


Christian SheildsChristian Sheilds
Home State: Maryland
Service Location: Tuckahoe State Park
(2018-2019)

Joining MCC was important to me because:

Growing up I was allergic to just about everything outside. I had severe asthma and being able to work outside had always been a dream of mine that I didn’t think would ever become a reality. Being inside most of my life had definitely sparked a huge interest in the world around me. I finally grew out of most of my allergies by the age of 16, giving me the chance to explore the world around me. Joining MCC was extremely important to me because it gave me the chance to explore the wide variety of career pathways involving environmental work, all in one program. I view MCC as a program that should be mandatory for all youth to be involved in. It truly is a well-rounded program for preparing youth for the world around them.

Career/Future Goals

Future career goals would be in the realm of animal rescue/rehabilitation or Environmental Education.

What I enjoy most about MCC:

Being able to gain experience in a large variety of different fields, but still having all the experience be relevant to my end career goals. I truly feel prepared for the future ahead of me, all because of this program.


Michael SiosonMichael Sioson
Home State: Maryland
Service Location: Patapsco Valley State Park
(2018-2019)

Joining MCC was important to me because:

I wanted to learn about the different aspects of conservation and the career options that may be available in the environmental field.

Career/Future Goals:

I want to work in the field of ecological restoration and eventually get my Master’s degree in environmental restoration or conservation biology.

What I enjoy most about MCC:

Learning about nature, spending time with my crewmates, and doing work outdoors that helps the environment.


Emily SmithEmily Smith
Home State: Maryland
Service Location: Susquehanna State Park
(2017-2018 at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary; 2018-2019)

Joining MCC was important to me because:

I really enjoy the program experience and the conservation work involved in the program. Learning how to communicate with each of your crew members and create a bond with each crew member is an important part of the program. Also, being able to do a vast variety of conservation work is also why I truly enjoy this program.

Career/Future Goals:

My career goal is to become a Park Service classified park technician.

What I enjoy most about MCC:

I really enjoy the bond that blossoms within the crew. The bond that is made between people that don’t know each other at the beginning of the year is what I enjoy seeing. Everyone in the crew learns the different personalities that they are working with and everyone learns how to communicate effectively with each person.