Mike Adamovic, AmeriCorps 2012, 2013, 2014
Nature Writer & Photographer
3-Time Hudson Valley Corps Member
SCA 2014: Watershed Specialist, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
SCA 2013: Invasive Species Coordinator, Bear Mountain State Park
SCA 2012: Coordinator of the Mile-a-Minute Project of the Hudson Valley, Bear Mountain State Park
Hometown: Dover Plains, NY
College: Manhattanville College
SCA Hudson Valley Corps Member (third term)
Freelance Nature Writer & Photographer
What led you down the path to conservation?
For as long as I can remember I’ve always had an interest in the outdoors and nature, so it made sense to pursue a career to help protect what I deeply care about. Seeing the unnecessary destruction of our natural habitats through human carelessness drove me to desire to fix some our mistakes and show by example what can be accomplished through a bit of effort, however small.
How has SCA impacted your life and career?
SCA and AmeriCorps helped me become more decisive with my career choices. Prior to joining, I knew I wanted to do something in the environmental field, but I couldn’t quite decide on what route I wanted to journey down. My AmeriCorps positions have essentially separated the chaff from the wheat. The wonderful experiences I’ve had with SCA, both on the job and from interactions with staff and fellow members, provided me with the insight and courage to pursue my burgeoning interests—nature writing and photography.
What got you started on nature writing? Where was your first publication?
My first real experiences with trail and nature writing began during my first SCA AmeriCorps internship. As the head coordinator of a program whose primary goal was to help eradicate an invasive plant known as Mile-a-Minute vine, I was expected to educate the public about the hazards of this Asian weed and get the word out for people to submit sightings to us. What better way to do this than by writing an article for publication? A short piece detailing the program’s mission and basic information relating to the invasive was included in Trail Walker, a small, quarterly magazine put out by the NYNJ Trail Conference.
How have you connected your conservation work in the field with your writing and photography?
The two have pretty much gone hand-in-hand. During my outings in the field I always brought my camera with me. Some of my best images were taken when I stumbled across something unexpected, be it a rattlesnake, an endangered orchid, or a remarkably scenic vista. Every unique sight provides an idea for an article to show others who aren’t fortunate enough to be outside on a regular basis the wonders of the natural world.
Any advice for other SCA members and alums interested in getting into nature writing?
The best advice I can give is this:
1. Get outside as much as possible, and take in the sights rather than just passing them by.
2. Hone your writing skills by reading descriptive nature writers such as Thoreau and Muir.
3. Research various magazines, newspapers, and other publications. Send a query letter or just submit something. Don’t be intimidated! You don’t need a degree in English or Journalism to get something published!
Check out these selections of Mike’s nature writing on the Hudson Valley:
“Putting the Brakes on Mile-a-Minute Vine” (Trail Walker December 2012)
www.nynjtc.org/files/documents/TW-Winter13_12-14.pdf (Pg. 7)
“The Hudson Highlands” (TrailGroove May 2014)