In the Bozone

Energy Corps

Read about Amy Snelling’s first impressions of Montana, Energy Corps, and the Bozeman community:

I’m pretty excited to kick off the Energy Corps members 2014-15 blog cycle!

First things first, my name is Amy Snelling and I am working in Bozeman, MT at MSU (GO CATS!) with the Yellowstone Teton Clean Energy Coalition. I’m a Virginia native and graduated from the University of Delaware this past May with a degree in Environmental Science. Throughout my Energy Corps service term I am working to develop YTCEC’s Alternative Fuels Curriculum and Sustainability Series. These education and outreach programs provide the necessary information people need to make an informed decision about alternative fuels. I hope to collaborate with schools, local organizations and community members on alternative fuels in transportation outreach.

To say that I am excited about this year would be an understatement. AmeriCorps has been a goal of mine for many years now- it uniquely offers the opportunity for young adults to serve a community while developing skills in service, outreach, and education.

I’ve already experienced how Energy Corps utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to train members to understand local environmental challenges and help people adapt to a changing climate. To be able to participate in a program whose mission is to provide “community-based sustainable energy solutions” is very fulfilling as I feel that the energy sector is one that requires the most fundamental restructuring in the US in the face of climate change.

Amy and other Energy Corps members turning compost at Pre-Service Orientation
Amy and other Energy Corps members turning compost at Pre-Service Orientation

Orientation with my fellow Energy Corps members was a great experience as I got to meet an incredible bunch of people who I will be concurrently working with to achieve Energy Corps’ mission. Within a few days, we had bonded (sleeping in a yurt will do that to you). And although I was excited to begin working with YTCEC when orientation wrapped up, it was hard to say goodbye to these people that were strangers a mere 72 hours earlier. I only wish that Montana was a smaller state (like Delaware) so I could easily check back with the other members and hear about what they are doing in person!

Here are a few non sequitur thoughts/ observations from my first few weeks out in Bozeman:

–          Bozeman is beautiful and is a very cool town to work – everyone who told me that I would move out here and never come back, might be right (sorry, mom and dad!)

–          I am working remotely (YTCEC’s office is in Jackson, WY), which is only an issue as I do not get to see the amazing people that I work with on a daily basis

–          Montanans have been some of the friendliest people I’ve met

–          I am nervous for the upcoming winter (I hear it lasts through May?!)

–          YTCEC is exceptional at putting together a panel discussion- providing diverse perspectives that are reliable, honest, straight-forward and fun to hear

–          Yellowstone National Park is definitely worth the hype

I know it’s going to be a great year, so I hope you continue to check in with us via this blog!

DSC_0466Amy Snelling graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.S in Environmental Science and a minor in environmental humanities. While in college she was the chair of the Delaware Environmental Institute’s Student Programs Committee and the Green Liasons, both groups worked to promote environmental awareness and sustainability issues to the campus community. Amy is serving at the Yellowstone Teton Clean Energy Coalition, where she will expand the organizations sustainability series and energy literacy curriculum.

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