Natural Lands Technicians

The Natural Lands hires a group of students who work closely with the Natural Lands Manager to carry out management activities in the various habitats that are in the Natural Lands. This is a physical job that requires resiliency to inclement weather, endurance in working outside for extended periods of time, and teamwork with fellow Natural Lands Technicians. This position is crucial to the upkeep of the Natural Lands and provides our students with conservation and land management experience.

There are many experiences involved in this exciting position, such as:

  • Participating in prescribed burns
  • Learning about native species through seed collection and restoration
  • Removing invasive species
  • Continuing ecological monitoring
  • Utilizing various land management equipment

The Natural Lands Student Technicians for the year of 2022-2023 are Charles Cole (’24), Chantel Henderson (’23), Autumn Pozniak (’24), Kieran Sheridan (’25), Luke Springer (’23), Laura Rubiano Mongui (’24), Olivia Edstrom (’24), and Ceili Demarais (’24).

Charles Cole: My name is Charles Cole. I am a junior Biology major (and aspiring Chemistry major). I grew up in Northfield and would often roam the grounds and natural areas of St. Olaf and Carleton before moving to Orono. Since we don’t use herbicide, I spent this Summer cataloging all of the species of plants (61), animals (40) and fungi (6) I could find in our yard (with the help of a trail camera). My interests include animal cognition, ecology and corvids, and my hobbies include chess, archery, swimming, walking and reading. I am looking forward to a great year working to keep St. Olaf’s Natural Lands healthy and beautiful!

Autumn Pozniak: My name is Autumn and I am a junior Biology and Creative Writing double major. I grew up in Northern MN near the Boundary Waters, an upbringing I greatly credit to my passion for nature, the outdoors, and adventure. The past two summers I worked in both Yosemite and Kenai Fjords National Park where I learned so much about wildlife and all the incredible biodiversity found in our environment. This is my third year as Natural Lands Tech on campus, and I am so grateful for the incredible experience this opportunity has given me and everything I’m still learning. I’m excited to spend another year maintaining the Natural Lands and helping it thrive so it can continue being enjoyed by everyone who finds solace there as much as I do!

Kieran Sheridan: Hi! I’m Kieran, a sophomore Environmental Studies Major with a concentration in International Relations. I have always had a great interest in nature and I love being outside. I’m from the small and weird state of Vermont and have hiked and skied all over New England! I’m excited to be working outside with hands-on projects and simply to escape college life and be in nature!Olivia Edstrom: Hi everyone, my name is Livvie Edstrom! I am from Plano, Tx and am a junior majoring in Environmental Studies. I love to spend time in the Natural Lands, whether it is during cross country practice or while working as a land tech. I spent the summer in Northfield working in the Natural Lands and am super excited to get to continue that work this semester!

Ceili DeMarais: Hey y’all! My name is Ceili DeMarais (pronounced Kay-lee) and I am a Junior Biology and Environmental Studies Major from Winona, MN. This past summer I worked full time in our beloved Natural Lands helping with various restoration projects, and am excited to be continuing this work during the school year! When I am not out cutting down invasive species in the Natural Lands you can catch me planning fun activities for OUTS, working as a program advisor for Volunteer Network, hosting my radio show on Monday Nights, or walking around admiring plants. See y’all on the trails!

Chantel Henderson: (she/her/hers) ’23, Environmental Studies major. Loves plant ID and seed collection in the Natural Lands.