HCT’s latest AmeriCorps member, Gerhard (pronounced ‘Garrett’) Jansen, is 22 years old and hails from Arlington, Virginia. He graduated in May 2016 from the College of William and Mary with a degree in the sociology of religion. Given his love of working outdoors, community service, and desire to explore new places, he thought AmeriCorps Cape Cod would be the perfect way to spend the year.
His conservation experience comes from summers working on a sustainable, heritage farm and a garden market, as well as his independent reading on the subject. He also has beekeeping experience, having helped his apiarist of a grandmother manage her hives in Missouri, as well as founding his high school’s bee club. During summer 2016, he travelled to Poland to study language, history, and culture on scholarship at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.
His hobbies tend toward the artsy and most hours of the day he can be seen with a book of poetry or theatrical script in hand, perhaps slowly perusing an art museum. This is his first time on Cape Cod, but according to all reports he absolutely adores the area. He talks incessantly about how exciting it is to see wild seals, massive sand dunes, and shellfish farms.
Since arriving in September, the AmeriCorps team has worked all up and down the Cape, diving into jobs such as invasive species removal, environmental education for elementary schoolers, aquaculture, trail maintenance, and more. For his two day a week placement with the Harwich Conservation Trust and the Town of Harwich Conservation Department, Gerhard will be monitoring conservation lands, incorporating GIS technology to further HCT goals, assisting Boundary Quest volunteers in surveying HCT property, helping with the herring count, and coordinating the Tour de Trash. “This placement has been very interesting so far. I am very grateful to be working in such a beautiful town and hope that I can contribute to preserving that beauty” said Garrett. HCT and the Town are fortunate to partner with him through AmeriCorps.