I am Phillip Hall, a senior at William Monroe High School. I am currently involved in a vast variety of activities. I have a passion for music which drives me to try and master guitar, mandolin, and flute right now. Guitar is my main instrument and I plan to be the guitarist for our up and coming jazz band and my high school. I am also an outdoors enthusiast. I go hiking as much as I can and I just got into mountain biking. Some prior experience I have working in this field is the Youth Conservation Corps volunteering in a state park for three weeks. This passion for the outdoors is what is leading me to do an internship based on conservation of the national forests in Virginia.
I am doing my internship with Wild Virginia, a non-profit organization that aims to protect the national forests in Virginia from the impeding forces of corporate development. Currently, Wild Virginia's main focus is to keep the Atlantic Coast Pipeline out of Virginia and keep if from happening at all. They are putting Virginia's citizens and interns such as myself to the task of researching and monitoring things that may have to do with the pipeline.
Working with my mentors David Sligh and Misty Boos, I will be conducting research with Wild Virginia and helping them with volunteer efforts.
The main focus of my research will be how to better manage and decommission forest roads. This topic is very important and relevant because many forest roads cause erosion and forest fragmentation, but when they are decommissioned they can cause even more erosion and introduce invasive species into the previously native forest. My focus for community service will also be environmentally based. I will be volunteering with Wild Virginia during the fall and winter. Leading hikes, testing water quality, and teaching children are a few of the possibilities I will have. I have been certified by trout unlimited to test water quality in creeks throughout Virginia. I also plan to help lead a hike with a master naturalist this spring.
I have devised ideas on how to help the Forest Service reduce the adverse effects of forest roads on ecosystems surrounding them. My research paper can be found here. It gives an in depth history of the Forest Service and gives ideas on how to make the forest road system more environmentally neutral.