Andraya Jorgensen

I grew up in a small town an hour north of Detroit called St. Clair, Michigan. But most recently I came from Chicago, Illinois where I am studying Environmental Studies at DePaul University.

Before this I have worked many irrelevant minimum wage jobs, more relevant is my experience with environmental and conservation efforts in Chicago and in the Chicago wilderness. I’ve spent many months volunteering at community gardens and forest preserves in and around the city. In 2012, I went on an alternative spring break through DePaul where I spent two weeks in and just outside of Moab, Utah doing trail maintenance and restoration work. This experience widened my eyes to the wonders of the west and the tough but rewarding work of conservation and trail restoration.

These experiences, along with my upbringing in a rural setting, have allowed me to get a really awesome perspective on conservation through the urban, rural, and wilderness lenses. It has also helped me to broaden my understanding of nature and ecosystems because I see the urban wilderness as its own wild community and the remote backcountry mountains as another. This has led to a wonderful appreciation for this insane and beautiful place we call home.

I’m really into plants. Botany and plant identification is something that I find fascinating. The adaptations that plants and animals have made is something that absolutely blows my mind and always helps me find my center, these things are humbling and empowering at the same time. On the flipside, I really love connecting to people and sharing experiences. I value living in the real world, the natural world, and doing that with like-minded people. And I probably spend at least half of my time laying in patches of grass. I just love laying in grass.

I really believe in nature and humans and the places where these things meet. I’m not really into “concrete jungles” as it were. I’m into the real things that are out there and sharing those things with others.

 

I’m here to learn about these ecosystems. To have wonderful experiences. To make great friendships. To have a really really good time. To gain knowledge. I’m along for the ride. I’m here for whatever comes!