December 22, 2017
Benjamin Stowell, an Earth Science major from Grangeville, ID, balances school, work and play. Through LC Work Scholars Stowell works as the Arboretum Planning Team Data Coordinator. He is helping establish a tree database, using a geographic information system (GIS), of trees on the Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) campus. Stowell is also an offensive and defensive lineman for the Lewis-Clark Valley Loggers football team.
The LCSC tree database is a part of a larger catalog called Tree Campus USA part of the National Arbor Day Foundation. According to Stowell’s supervisor, and Vice President for Finance & Administration, Todd Kilburn, LCSC is the first and only college in Idaho to be a part of this national program. Involvement in Tree Campus USA engages students and community members in fostering environmental efforts in the community and establishes a Campus Tree Advisory Committee.
Stowell logs and monitors the tree’s size and health and enters this information into the GIS system to report and categorize every tree on campus. If a tree is unhealthy, the committee may decide to remove the tree. The committee then will decide what type of tree will be planted in its place.
Stowell and the Arboretum Committee are also working with Lewiston Parks and Recreation to combine GIS data. Eventually they hope to work with Parks and Rec and the city forester to create a “walking tour” of the trees in the region.
As part of Earth Day events, Stowell and the Arboretum Committee will hold a ceremony and plant a tree. Observance of Earth Day is always on April 22 and encourages people’s companionship with nature.
The experience gained by the LC Work Scholars position is perfect for Stowell, who hopes to one day work outdoors in the field of forestry. When Stowell isn’t in school, he enjoys playing football for the Loggers, camping, hiking, hunting and fishing. In fact, when asked about how he spent last summer, Stowell replied, “[I] spent more time in a tent, than in my own bed.”
Kilburn, believes the Data Coordinator position is a perfect LC Work Scholar job, due to the flexibility it can offer students who need to be able to work around their academic schedules. Additionally, the experience gained in working with the GIS system is a great way to connect Stowell’s college to his career goals.
Students in the LC Work Scholars program represent a wide variety of majors, working both on and off campus. Work Scholars earn a tuition scholarship and stipend, in exchange for 10 hours of work per week in their career field of choice.
For more information about LC Work Scholars contact at (208) 792-2084 or firstname.lastname@example.org.