Chelsea Cooper, Conservation Technician
As a 5th generation Michigander, Chelsea grew up in Gaylord on a large woodland pond which is where her fascination with aquatic ecosystems began. Spending every season in the forest cultivated an interest in nature’s systems and cycles. That interest developed into a desire to assist in the preservation of those unique habitats she enjoyed so much.
Chelsea enrolled in Northwestern Michigan College’s Freshwater Studies program in 2016 and was president of the program’s student group. This led her to many opportunities in her specific area of interest - lake science. After an internship in Costa Rica studying unconfined aquifers and sustainable farming, she graduated with an AAS in 2018. She gained experience in multiple different lake-related internships while also trying different undergraduate programs. In 2018, her experiences led her to simultaneously accept an internship with the Manistee Conservation District and also enroll in Grand Valley State University’s Integrative Studies program through NMC’s satellite campus in Traverse City.
After her internship with the District, she started a small business with a fellow graduate - Protecting our Watersheds, LLC. Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, POW offered a variety of water-centered educational services. POW’s curriculum was implemented in two Traverse City elementary schools, bringing environmental concepts to life in the classroom using materials found in the local watershed. Post pandemic, Chelsea has happily found herself back at the District, accepting a position as the Conservation Technician, and at the finish line of her BS in Environmental Advocacy. She is excited to apply her experiences and education to assist the community.