Wilderness Summer – Walking into the Future

MarraClay

Marra Clay in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, Southern Utah

This is the 2nd in a series of millenials who are seeking careers in environmental studies. Marra Clay is a Hopkins School District (MN) graduate. Below is Marra’s story:

MarraHopperThis summer I have an internship through the Environmental Studies department at Whitman College, where I am a junior Chemistry-Environmental Studies major. I am working as an environmental photographer for the Grand Canyon Trust, a large environmental organization. Specifically, I have been with the Utah Forests Program photographing the landscape of southern Utah.

My interest in nature started when I was very little. I was always the kid who liked to play with bugs. I think that this interest was initially sparked by the beautiful colors and patterns on bugs. I loved looking for macro scale vibrant beings.

4th of July Fireworks

Loads of rain near Moab on the 4th of July which meant we didn’t get a chance to see fireworks. However, I’d say the lighning storm was a better option anyways.

It’s discouraging studying the environment in our quickly deteriorating world. I also struggle with the feeling of hopelessness that many environmentalists must battle. What often keeps me inspired is talking with other individuals who have devoted much of their lives to the environment. On-the-side, I am also a journalist, and I have always loved interviewing people in my community, both to hear their stories and to see it with my own eyes. It amazes me how talking with one inspired individual can make me also feel inspired, and the passion for the environment can spread like wildfire, if you just have one person who is determined to make a change.

MantiCreek

Beaver dam on Manti Creek

 

The plans for my future change from day to day. As of now, I would love to work for High Country News (a magazine that highlights environmental problems in the West) and then eventually pursue environmental law. However, I would also love to participate in an environmentally focused Peace Corps program. Before I settle on a career I want to take the time to apply some of my skills and interests around the world to help other nations in their pursuit of sustainability.

Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke

 

Readers respond to Marra’s story:
Mary Serdar: What an inspiring story. Marra, you were always an exceptional student. Your dancing was amazing and what about those highly designed tennis shoes I saw at your graduation party?! Now, here you are in the vast beauty of the wilderness with all your passion for life and amazing eye for photography.
Love and hugs and your very being is inspiring to us all.

Josefina Varas:
Marra…congratulations!!! for following your childhood interest in nature…and bright bugs!
You are right when you say that sometimes we may feel hopelessness, but is always important to remember that we are not alone. If we just go out to the world, we’ll find many people in love with our planet that we can learn from…and in action to keep it healthy, in balance and protected from future irreversible harm.
Always believe in our own dreams and trust others that are passionate for the same cause

 

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4 Responses to Wilderness Summer – Walking into the Future

  1. josefina says:

    Once again thank you Larry for sharing this great histories that inspire every soul!
    Marra…congratulations!!! for following your childhood interest in nature…and bright bugs!
    You are right when you say that sometimes we may feel hopelessness, but is always important to remember that we are not alone. If we just go out to the world, we’ll find many people in love with our planet that we can learn from…and in action to keep it healthy, in balance and protected from future irreversible harm.
    Always believe in our own dreams and trust others that are passionate for the same cause 🙂

  2. Suzy Robertson says:

    Marra,

    Your photo of Beaver Creek with its curves through the frame took my breath away!
    And prairie smoke is my favorite flower. Congratulations on taking your passion into your future, and for seeing that there are various options for doing so.

  3. Mary Serdar says:

    Dear Larry and Mara:
    What an inspiring story. Mara, you were always an exceptional student. Your dancing was amazing and what about those highly designed tennis shoes I saw at your graduation party?! Now, here you are in the vast beauty of the wilderness with all your passion for life and amazing eye for photography.
    Love and hugs and your very being is inspiring to us all.
    Mary Serdar

  4. Kate Humphrey says:

    Marra,
    You are such an impressive young woman. Yet, you have always been a shinning star. It’s been amazing to watch you grow. Keep climbing high and taking all life has to offer.

    Kate Humphrey

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