The 2009 Grand Haven High School graduate is currently the Teach for the Watershed intern for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council. She was one of four GVSU students given a scholarship to attend a Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow workshop, sponsored by the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.
"I will admit I was hesitant," Spychalski wrote in a guest blog for the WMEAC website. "The program seemed focused on wildlife management and the issues that hunting can present. Being a natural resources management major at Grand Valley State University, I have never delved too deeply into wildlife biology. However, upon further discussion and research, I realized that participating in the program would be a very beneficial experience."
Growing up in the Grand Haven area, Spychalski said she was exposed to hunting through her father and older brothers, and got used to seeing white-tail deer hanging in the garage during the fall.
"Throughout the course of the four-day workshop, which included 20 students as well as a few instructors from five Midwestern universities, the image that I had originally perceived of a 'hunter' was molded and changed into an image that encompassed the past, the present and the future impacts of hunters on habitat and wildlife conservation," she wrote.
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