Name: Hannah Vollmer
Graduation Year: 2007
Education: BA in Conservation Ecology with a Concentration in Natural History; Certified Interpretive Guide through National Association for Interpretation; currently pursuing MS in Biology at Plymouth State University, Plymouth, New Hampshire.
Current Hometown: Thornton, New Hampshire
Employment: I was a Field Technician at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in Woodstock, New Hampshire, for the past four years and recently left that position to start a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Other activities/volunteer work/interests: After graduating from Sterling, I spent a summer as a Conservation Fellow with the Native Plant Trust (formerly New England Wild Flower Society) and a summer as Program Assistant at NH Lakes Association. Then the recession hit, and I lived in my converted school bus for two and a half years and worked at a ski shop/outdoor outfitters for eight years. I had a house built in 2012, where I keep expanding the garden and preserving a lot of my food. I had pigs for four summers and now raise meat rabbits. In 2016, I through-hiked the Long Trail.
Can you tell us about your current work? I’m starting a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in the fall. I’m studying conservation genetics of two rare alpine plants in the White Mountain National Forest: sibbaldia (Sibbaldia procumbens) and dwarf cinquefoil (Potentilla robbinsiana).
Sterling introduced me to important life skills, like animal husbandry, sustainable food sourcing, and use of hand tools and collective muscle. Sterling gave us permission to feel connection to our community of people but also to our community of other living and nonliving beings, the definition of ecology.
Where/how/from what do you find inspiration? Practivism (practical activism) was a term that students coined to describe Sterling ethics, and it grounds me so that I’m able to think about and use science for conservation’s sake and not just an intellectual game.