On his first visit to GMC, Nelson remembers seeing a group of musicians jamming outside of Moses Hall and the experience struck him as an indicator of a uniquely supportive community.
Nelson transferred to Green Mountain College his sophomore year and chose biology for a major and chemistry for a minor. He found out about GMC while visiting a friend who attended the College—he remembers seeing a group of musicians jamming outside of Moses Hall and the experience struck him as an indicator of a uniquely supportive community.
Nelson is from Farmington, Conn., and while studying at a nearby state school, he had been frustrated by the lack of one-on-one connection with professors. At GMC he’s worked with supportive faculty members and found many opportunities to put his classroom learning to use. “Almost anything I do outside of class is bio-related, for example, working with the Nature Conservancy,” Nelson said.
He worked with master’s student Keith Roberts from the Nature Conservancy on the Native Plant Restoration Nursery initiative at the College. The nursery raises seedlings for planting projects in the region.
“You need to use disease resistant trees, identified through genotyping, and grow them in the nursery. They can then be sold to people who are rehabilitating areas of the Champlain Valley.” The purpose of this fieldwork is to eventually rehabilitate the biodiversity of the clay-plain forest that used to exist in this area.
In the summer of 2013, Nelson worked in Colorado at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory as a part of a research experience for undergrads [REU] funded by the National Science Foundation. His short-term goals include another REU between junior and senior year, and after graduating, he plans to enroll in grad school and continue his studies.
Outside of his studies in biology, he enjoys hiking and biking–he also participated on the men’s rugby team. “It’s a real brotherhood of the guys on the team, and it’s a great way to get to know people,” he said. “It’s really just enjoying another person, time with them, on the field.”